St. Paul, Minn. (Nov. 1, 2018) – Jobs for Minnesotans commends the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) decision to issue the Permit to Mine and other permits for the PolyMet NorthMet Project. The DNR’s action is the first approval in the state of Minnesota of a non-ferrous copper, nickel, precious metals mining project.
“We commend the DNR for its rigorous process and for issuing the Permit to Mine to PolyMet following a thorough review,” said Doug Loon, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce president and Jobs for Minnesotans board member. “This decision represents a commitment to invest nearly $1 billion in the state’s emerging nonferrous industry, bringing new wealth to the state and furthers Minnesota’s global position as a leading minerals producer, supplying critical minerals to our economy.”
The NorthMet Project is expected to bring approximately 360 direct jobs to northeastern Minnesota communities, with construction jobs alone requiring two million total work hours, a scale comparable to that for the construction of Target Field. As of June 2018, PolyMet had already invested over $350 million in the project and will generate an estimated $515 million annually for the region’s economy.
“This is a win for Minnesota. The project will create hundreds of good-paying jobs that will support Minnesota families and have statewide impact,” said Harry Melander, president of Minnesota Building and Construction Trades and founding member of Jobs for Minnesotans. “The DNR’s historic decision is a monumental stride for Minnesota’s mining industry and a long-awaited victory for all of us who know that we can both mine for these important metals and protect the environment.”
The permit points to a prosperous future for communities in and around the Duluth Complex, one of the largest undeveloped mineral resources in the world, with an estimated 4.4 billion tons of ore containing copper, nickel and platinum group metals.
“The Permit to Mine signals new life for mining on the Iron Range and is a win for all of the communities that have been fighting for its success,” said Aurora Mayor Dave Lislegard, who sits on the Jobs for Minnesotans board. “Each comment submitted, each well attended rally, and each person who made his or her voice heard in support of this project were crucial in reaching this stage and have had a hand in setting our region up for an exciting future.”
“The people of Hoyt Lakes are excited about the opportunities this project brings to our businesses, schools and neighborhoods,” said Hoyt Lakes Mayor Mark Skelton. “PolyMet in our backyard means access to more jobs to fuel our economy, more kids in our classrooms and more customers in our businesses. We are encouraged that the MPCA has stated they will also make final decisions on the remaining permits before the end of the year.”
About Jobs for Minnesotans
Jobs for Minnesotans, a coalition representing business, labor and communities, supports statewide opportunities for prosperity and middle-class jobs from sustainable natural resource development in Minnesota. The organization is committed to the principle that our state can preserve both job opportunities and the environment for future generations. Jobs for Minnesotans was co-founded in 2012 by the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council representing 55,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 companies and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
Media Contact: Nancy Norr, Chair