St. Paul, Minn. (Jan. 16, 2013) – Today in Duluth, Jobs for Minnesotans, a business-labor partnership, will show its support for the PolyMet mining project and encourage the environmental review process to move forward in order to create hundreds of new jobs in the state. Attending the first of three public hearings about the copper-nickel mining project’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS), members of Jobs for Minnesotans praised the thorough and exhaustive environmental review done by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other lead and cooperating agencies.
Minnesota is home to one of the largest copper-nickel deposits anywhere in the world and is poised to become one of the leading producers of minerals used in everything from smart phones to hybrid car batteries to wind turbines. Projects like PolyMet will result in high quality, good paying jobs for years to come, revitalizing significant portions of the Iron Range economy. The more than 55,000 union members and the 2,500 businesses that are part of Jobs for Minnesotans trust the DNR’s process and are eager to move to the mine permit phase.
“The DNR’s review has been lengthy and thorough. The SDEIS adequately takes into account potential impacts to the environment. Now it’s time we get this project moving forward so we can benefit from a world-class copper-nickel deposit that is right below our feet,” said Harry Melander, Jobs for Minnesotans co-founder and president of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council.
“The PolyMet project alone could provide 360 full-time mining jobs once it becomes operational, in addition to two million construction hours before it even begins to mine ore,” said David Olson, Jobs for Minnesotans co-founder and president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
“Our members see this project as an opportunity to breathe new life into Minnesota’s economy. In addition to hundreds of jobs, copper-nickel mining will provide millions of dollars in local and state taxes to support our communities and education system. Jobs from the project will provide families with a sustainable future and children with opportunities for good careers. The DNR has done its job, now let’s put Minnesotans to work,” added Melander.
Jobs for Minnesotans was co-founded in October 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. This coalition represents businesses, middle class workers, labor, local governments and other supporters of job creation in the state of Minnesota. Jobs for Minnesotans was created to educate and provide information about the direct and ancillary job creation that the strategic metals mining can produce for the state.