State environmental review of the proposed TMM project
Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) is proposing to develop an underground mine and associated processing facilities for the extraction of copper, nickel, cobalt, and platinum group metals in northeastern Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is charged with preparing an EIS for the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota project (TMM project). This role is known as being the responsible governmental unit (RGU).
Scoping is the first phase of the EIS process. The purpose of scoping is to identify the potentially significant environmental and socioeconomic issues requiring detailed analysis, alternatives to be evaluated, and potential mitigation options. Scoping helps the agency focus the environmental review on the most important issues, but also helps define alternatives and additional data needs. The project proposer is required to pay the DNR costs for conducting all phases of the EIS process, including any costs for the DNR to hire consultants to assist with the scoping and preparation of the EIS.
The TMM project would be located approximately 9 miles southeast of the City of Ely, Minnesota, and approximately 11 miles northeast of the City of Babbitt, Minnesota.
The DNR will prepare a scoping environmental assessment worksheet (Scoping EAW) and draft scoping decision document. The scoping EAW will identify for public consideration the TMM project's potentially significant impacts warranting detailed analysis. The draft scoping decision document will propose alternatives, necessary studies, and additional data needs. These documents will be posted below when they become available.
- Fact sheets
The DNR created the following fact sheets (downloadable PDFs) to help the public understand the environmental review process and other project-related considerations.
- Scoping EAW and draft scoping decision document
The Minnesota DNR does not yet have scoping documents for the Twin Metals EIS. We are still in the process of obtaining necessary information from the project proposer. When available, the scoping EAW and draft scoping decision document will be posted here. The Minnesota DNR will solicit comments on the scoping EAW and draft scoping decision document when these documents are complete. In combination, these two documents will provide a blueprint for EIS preparation.
- Other DNR documents
- 2020, June 15 DNR-RGU Comments on TMM Project Proposal Description
- 2020, June 8 Temporary Land Access Authorization for TMM
On June 8, the Minnesota DNR granted Twin Metals Minnesota a temporary access agreement to facilitate the collection of site-specific environmental data on state lands. The collection of this data is needed for the Minnesota DNR to evaluate Twin Metals’ proposed project. The access agreement expressly states that no decisions have been made about the future use of state lands. The collection of environmental data from these lands is critical to our review as a regulator, as a steward of public lands, and as a fiduciary to the School Trust.
- DNR news releases
- Project updates
Other agencies involved
- United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management: BLM webpage
- Project-related information from other agencies is not available at this time. If available in the future, links will be provided here. The DNR anticipates coordinating with other state and federal agencies and tribal governments throughout the environmental review process.