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Public Notices

Special Public Notice Regarding Clean Water Act Section 404 Public Hearing and Submission of Public Comments for the PolyMet Project (1999-05528-JKA)

This is a special public notice providing additional information regarding opportunities for public comment on the proposed discharge of dredged and fill material into waters of the U.S. associated with the PolyMet Mining Inc. (PolyMet) proposed NorthMet Project (Project).

Notice of Availability of Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Notice of Public Meetings (1999-05528-JKA)

Project Description and Purpose: A joint federal/state Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) has been prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District (District); the U.S. Forest Service, Superior National Forest (USFS); and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) that describes the anticipated environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the proposed PolyMet Mining, Inc. (PolyMet) NorthMet Project and Land Exchange. Three joint federal/state public meetings for the purpose of considering public comments on the SDEIS will be held by the USACE, USFS and the MDNR.

PolyMet Mining, Inc., Section 404 Permit

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The Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, and its partners – The U.S. Forest Service and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources – have worked together to develop a comprehensive supplemental draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed PolyMet mining project near Hoyt Lakes, Minn.

The document was released to the public for review and comment, allowing citizens to thoroughly review the document and share their comments or concerns prior to the completion of the EIS. No decisions will be made until after the EIS process is completed. 

The Corps accepted comments on the supplemental draft EIS until March 13, 2014.


The PolyMet Mining Company is proposing to develop a sulfide mineral ore body of approximately 228 million tons. The open pit mine, waste rock stockpiles and other mine-site facilities would disturb around 1,400 acres. The least reactive waste rock would be stored in a permanent stockpile adjacent to the mine. The most reactive waste rock would be stored temporarily in lined surface stockpiles and then backfilled into the mine pit and permanently stored under water. Ore processing would take place at the existing Cliffs Erie taconite ore processing plant. The plant would need to be refurbished and modified to process base and precious metal sulfide ore. PolyMet has estimated the project would have direct impacts on about 900 acres of wetlands. Most of these wetlands at the mine site abut the Partridge River, which is part of a tributary system to Lake Superior. The potential for elevated levels of sulfate and metals in drainage water from the open pits, stockpiles and tailings basin is a concern.
PolyMet Mining, Inc., has proposed to construct and operate an open pit mine approximately 6 miles south of Babbitt in St. Louis County, Minn. The ore from this mine would be hauled approximately 8 miles west on an existing railroad line for processing in an idle taconite ore processing plant. The processing plant is approximately 6 miles north of Hoyt Lakes, Minn. The ore would be crushed and processed to extract copper, nickel, cobalt and precious metals by flotation, dissolution and precipitation. The waste from the mine, or tailings, would be discharged into an existing taconite tailings basin.

PolyMet News Releases

Corps of Engineers reminds everyone that public comments for the proposed PolyMet project closes March 13

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with the U.S. Forest Service and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, are reminding everyone that the NorthMet Mining Project and Land Exchange Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement public comment period will end March 13.
Published: 2/27/2014

Corps of Engineers to host public hearing and meetings on PolyMet Mining environmental documents

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, assisted by the U.S. Forest Service and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is hosting a public hearing for the proposed PolyMet Mining project Clean Water Act permit application in Duluth, Minn., Jan. 16, 2014.
Published: 12/16/2013

Corps of Engineers, partners nearly complete with PolyMet environmental impact statement

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District; the U.S. Forest Service; and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, announced today, Aug. 23, that the they will finish the NorthMet nonferrous mining environmental review by the end of November.
Published: 8/23/2013

 

Contact information

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District, Regulatory Branch
180 5th Street E, Suite 700
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (800) 290-5847
Email: mvp-reg-inquiry@usace.army.mil 

Related Sites

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
(includes fact sheets, maps and additional MnDNR information)

U.S. Forest Service

Resources/References

Information paper (Corps of Engineers)

Supplemental Draft Environmental
Impact Statement

(Minn. DNR)

Draft Biological Assessment (PDF) 
(U.S. Forest Service)

Draft Biological Evaluation (PDF) 
(U.S. Forest Service)