Minnesota Public Radio
Last December, the Obama administration refused to renew mineral leases crucial to Twin Metals Minnesota’s efforts to build a huge underground copper-nickel mine near Ely and the Boundary Waters, all but killing the plan.
On Friday, however, the Trump administration reversed that decision, paving the way for Twin Metals to get its leases back and resurrecting the effort to build the controversial mine.
An opinion published Friday by a top attorney at the U.S. Interior Department concludes the federal Bureau of Land Management erred last year when it concluded that BLM had the power to grant or deny the Twin Metals lease renewals. The reversal means the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service must reconsider Twin Metals’ 2012 lease renewal application.