Permit to Mine
PolyMet's NorthMet Mining Project


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The DNR has issued the permit to mine for the Poly Met Mining, Inc. (PolyMet) NorthMet mining project. The purpose of a permit to mine is to control the possible adverse environmental effects of mining by ensuring orderly construction and development of a mine, sound operational practices, and progressive reclamation of mined areas. This permit ensures that a mine is developed in a manner that facilitates future land uses. A permit to mine also includes provisions that govern wetland impacts and mitigation, and it is the key permit for setting financial assurance requirements for a mine.

The NorthMet permit to mine permit includes a comprehensive, PolyMet-funded financial assurance package designed to provide sufficient funds for the DNR to reclaim and close the mine and plant site in the event that PolyMet should fail to do so. The financial assurance package has been thoroughly vetted by independent financial experts and provides comprehensive protections for Minnesota.

DNR technical staff along with its consultants reviewed the application details to determine whether the project as proposed is designed to meet state standards, provides appropriate financial assurance, and incorporates the environmental protections outlined in the Environmental Impact Statement. Following review of PolyMet's permit to mine application, DNR prepared draft special conditions for the application. Following review of comments received during the public comment and objection period, the DNR developed final special conditions for the application. Together, the application and the special conditions are considered the permit to mine for the NorthMet project.

Where are we in the overall permitting process?

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Permit to Mine and Wetland Replacement Plan Decisions
(PolyMet's Application and DNR's Special Conditions together are considered the Permit to Mine)
November 1, 2018

PolyMet Ferrous Closure Permit Assignment

Contested Case Hearing Petitions March 7, 2018

The DNR received two petitions under Minnesota Statutes 93.483 requesting that the Commissioner hold a contested case hearing on the draft permit to mine for the proposed NorthMet mining project. One petition was received from WaterLegacy, and a joint petition was received from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness (FBWW). Complete copies of the petitions and their attachments are posted below.

Prior to making permit decisions, the DNR concluded it would not order a pre-decisional contested case hearing(s) regarding the permits. Detailed explanation of the agency’s decision to deny the contested case requests is included in the DNR’s findings for its permit to mine decision.

The DNR fact sheet Formal Objections and Petitions for Contested Case Hearing describes the contested case petition process under Minnesota Statutes 93.483 subd.1-2.

WaterLegacy Petition (February 27, 2018)

Joint MCEA-CBD-FBWW Petition (February 28, 2018)

After careful consideration of the petitions, the DNR concluded it would not order a pre-decisional contested case hearing(s) regarding the permits. This decision was made prior to the decision on the permit to mine.

Draft Permit to Mine
(PolyMet's Application and DNR's Draft Special Conditions together are considered the Draft Permit to Mine)
January 5, 2018

To view PolyMet's Permit to Mine application, DNR's Draft Special Conditions, and Project Factsheets in PDF format please use the links below:

To view the references for Appendix 18.1, Wetland Replacement Plan, use the link below:
Wetland Replacement Plan References » (1/9/2018)

To view PolyMet's Permit to Mine application and appendices separately use the link below:
View or download files separately » (12/13/2017)

Project Fact Sheets

 

Reference Documents for Permit to Mine Application
December 13, 2017

Reference Documents for Wetland Replacement Plan
January 5, 2018

 


 

Permit Related Documents

State consultant financial assurance reports
Added on January 11, 2017


 

Initial Permit to Mine Application
November 3, 2016

To view PolyMet's initial Permit to Mine application in PDF format please use the links below:

 

 Appendix Documents for Initial Permit to Mine Application

 

Reference Documents for Initial Permit to Mine Application

 


 

April 19th, 2016 Public Meeting

Informational page from past public meeting on April 19, 2016