Biden shuts down lease renewals for proposed Minnesota mine
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration has canceled a move by former President Donald Trump to renew mineral rights leases for a proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.
Trump had signed an order a month before the 2020 election declaring a national emergency over the country’s reliance on imported metals used to manufacture computers, smart phones, batteries for electric cars and other items. The reversal ordered on Wednesday follows an October decision to move forward with a study that could lead to a 20-year ban on mining upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
Twin Metals said it plans to fight the decision.
“This is not about law. This is a political action intended to stop the Twin Metals project without conducting the environmental review prescribed in law,” according to Twin Metals.
“Twin Metals’ mineral leases were first issued in 1966 and have been held in good standing spanning 11 presidential administrations. We remain steadfast in defending those rights and advancing our model mining project.”
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said her department must be consistent in how it applies lease terms.