We have an exciting opportunity to support mining in our region on a national scale. The U.S. House or Representatives Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee is holding a field hearing on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at 1:30 PM CT at Mountain Iron-Buhl Public School Auditorium.
As our country transitions to clean energy technologies, the demand for critical minerals grows exponentially. Northern Minnesota has one of the largest undeveloped mineral deposits in the world. This hearing focuses on the potential of our region and the barriers companies are facing to get projects even considered in the environmental review and permitting processes.
A strong showing of mining supporters to represent our community is strongly encouraged. Attend if you can!
WHAT: Field Hearing – “Examining the Mineral Wealth of Northern Minnesota”
WHO: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources led by Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.)
WHEN: May 2, 2023 at 1:30 PM CT
WHERE: Mountain Iron-Buhl High School Auditorium (Door 4) — 5529 Emerald Ave, Mountain Iron, MN 55768
RSVP: If you plan to attend in-person, the committee asks that RSVPs be sent to John.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re unable to join in-person, the hearing will also be streamed live here on the committee’s YouTube channel.
St. Paul, Minn. (Feb. 15, 2023) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the below statement following today’s announcement that PolyMet Mining and Teck Resources have closed the NewRange Copper Nickel LLC joint venture agreement to develop the NorthMet project and further study the Mesaba opportunity:
“The closure of the NewRange Copper Nickel joint venture is exciting news for northeast Minnesota and supporters of responsible domestic mineral production. This joint venture represents a $170 million investment and vote of confidence by two premier global mining companies – PolyMet and Teck Resources – that Minnesota is the place to safely and responsibly mine domestically for minerals needed for battery storage and clean energy technologies.
“The joint venture announced today builds upon the Iron Range’s mining legacy and brings Minnesota another step closer to answering the global climate, humanitarian and geopolitical challenges related to sourcing the clean energy minerals the world needs.
“Jobs for Minnesotans looks forward to the NorthMet project’s last three permits being reactivated and beginning construction soon, as well as the further investment in the Mesaba deposit which could bring even more family-sustaining jobs to the region while also protecting the environment,” said Jobs for Minnesotans Board Chair David Chura.
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 70,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 members and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
St. Paul, Minnesota (Jan. 26, 2023) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the following statement in response to action taken today by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to enact the withdrawal of 225,000 acres of federal land and minerals in northern Minnesota from future leasing and exploration and development activities:
Jobs for Minnesotans is outraged by the federal government’s irresponsible and arbitrary action today which replaces the review of specific and detailed mining project proposals with a generic 20-year mining ban in the region.
At the same time, the Biden Administration has set ambitious timetables to advance the clean energy transition which relies on critical minerals. Closer to home, Governor Walz and the Minnesota legislature are advancing legislation to achieve 100% carbon free energy by 2040.
“This action begs the question: why doesn’t the government have confidence in its own agencies’ ability to review proposed specific projects?” asked David Chura, chair of Jobs for Minnesotans.
“Ultimately, this sends a chilling message to hardworking Minnesotans who need the widespread economic benefits of mining in our state,” said Adam Duininck, vice chair of Jobs for Minnesotans and director of government affairs for North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters.
This action sends an even harsher message to the business community that they cannot expect fair treatment in Minnesota or the United States. It sets a precedent that will have a devastating impact to all responsible industries looking to get a fair project review.
Halting resource development in this vast region will cause the state to lose billions of dollars in potential revenues that support K-12 education across the state, as well as thousands of prospective jobs from future mining projects and associated spinoff employment. This action is devastating news for the economic wellbeing of our state.
The withdrawal of federal minerals from future development is unnecessary and unlawful. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has strict protections in place within its boundaries as well as buffer zones surrounding it where mining is prohibited. If this decision were based on science, the administration would rely on studying a site-specific project proposal. Every mine proposal is unique and specific to its leases, location and mining methods. Every geological deposit the proposal sits on is different.
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 70,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 members and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter or LinkedIn and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
St. Paul, Minn. (August 22, 2022) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the below statement following today’s announcement that Twin Metals Minnesota filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to reclaim their mineral leases that were canceled by the Department of Interior in January:
“Jobs for Minnesotans firmly stands behind Twin Metals Minnesota’s right to a fair review of their project. We are extremely disappointed by the series of seemingly politically motivated federal actions to kill their project over the last 10 months.
“These actions set a dangerous precedent. They are an attack on all mining in northeast Minnesota, jeopardize domestic access to critical clean energy minerals and are an affront to the people of northeast Minnesota who have proudly and responsibly developed natural resources for generations.
“The actions taken against the Twin Metals project ignore the rigorous science-based environmental review process outlined in law. We believe the environmental review process will prove this project can mine safely and protect the environment.
“Over the 25-year life of the Twin Metals mine plan, the project will produce enough minerals to support manufacture of clean energy technologies including: enough nickel to make 7 million electric vehicles, enough copper to create more than a quarter million wind turbines and enough copper to support production of 250,000 megawatts of solar power.
“Twin Metals’ proposed mine will revitalize the economy of northeast Minnesota by creating more than 750 high-wage, family-sustaining mining jobs plus 1,500 spinoff jobs in the region.”
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 70,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 6,300 companies and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
Last October, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed to withdraw 225,000 acres of federally owned land and minerals in northeast Minnesota from future mining leasing and potential development.
This action launched an environmental assessment around the proposal. In late June, the draft environmental assessment was released and launched a 30-day comment period for public input on the draft assessment.
This action jeopardizes the future of statewide benefits from Minnesota’s mining industry, ignores established regulatory and environmental review processes, and will have a devastating impact on the creation of thousands of jobs in northeast Minnesota and the region’s communities, economy and mining industry. Specifically, the withdrawal now covers both copper-nickel and taconite mining in the draft.
If you support job creation and the future of mining in Minnesota, take action now!
Make your voice heard by providing public comments to the U.S. Forest Service through one of three ways by August 12, 2022:
- Electronic comments are preferred through the project website at https://go.usa.gov/xuH43.
- Comments may also be sent electronically to email@example.com.
- Written comments may be sent to Forest Headquarters, 8901 Grand Avenue Place, Duluth, MN 55808.
Please use (copy and paste) the below sample message as your comment’s starting point, amend as you see fit by the deadline – Friday, August, 12, 2022:
Subject: Rainy River Withdrawal Application Draft EA Comment
I oppose the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management recommending a withdrawal of lands and minerals in northeast Minnesota from future leasing and potential development. The draft Environmental Assessment (EA) does not meet the rigor of the full Environmental Impact Statement and permitting processes that are required by law for proposed mining projects to thoroughly examine the details of a mine proposal. The EA also does not take into account any of the science or data from the Twin Metals Minnesota project proposal – submitted in 2019 – that took more than 10 years of hydro-geological and environmental studies, engineering, community engagement and design.
If enacted, the withdrawal will cause the state of Minnesota to lose thousands of potential jobs that would result from future mining projects, billions of dollars in future investment in northeast Minnesota, and billions in potential revenues from mining that support the state’s K-12 education system through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ School Trust Fund.
The targeted federal lands are in an area of historic mining activity where mining is currently allowed and encouraged by federal and state law. The withdrawal would provide no additional environmental protections than those that currently exist under state and federal law.
The Environmental Assessment is acting on a false presumption that any mining will pollute the Rainy River Watershed, basing these assumptions on studies with no credibility or applicability to our region. The only way to properly assess whether mining can occur safely is by thoroughly reviewing specific project proposals, as the nature of a project’s geology, environmental, and socioeconomic factors vary widely depending on where the project is located and its design. This clearly pre-determined draft EA doesn’t evaluate all the data available to determine if mining can be done safely.
The proposed withdrawal will also shut out a significant domestic source of critical minerals needed to combat the climate crisis – minerals that the U.S. is currently reliant on unpredictable and unstable foreign sources.
I urge the U.S. Forest Service reject this draft EA and its devastating impact on the future well-being of Minnesota citizens and communities.