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Biden administration cancels Twin Metals’ mineral leases

Twin Metals Mining
Twin Metals Mining(CBS 3 Duluth)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 12:14 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 12:03 AM CST
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DULUTH, MN -- The federal government announced it has canceled Twin Metals’ mineral leases Wednesday.

That delivers a serious blow to the company’s proposed copper-nickel mine on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northeastern Minnesota, not far from Ely.

Weeks before leaving office, former President Barack Obama canceled the leases and then the Trump administration issued a controversial legal analysis, reinstating the leases.

According to the news release from the United States Department of the Interior, they determined the expired Twin Metals leases were unlawfully reinstated by the Trump administration.

Twin Metals leaders issued a statement Wednesday.

“We remain steadfast in defending those rights and advancing our model mining project,” company spokespeople wrote.

In a statement from Republican Rep. Pete Stauber, of Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, he said, “The Biden Administration’s announcement today canceling these long-standing mineral leases will have devastating impacts on northern Minnesota and our nation. Let me be clear: President Biden is choosing to ban mining. He’s choosing foreign-sourced minerals, including mines that use child slave labor, over our own domestic, union workforce that follows the best labor and environmental standards in the world. The Biden Administration doesn’t have a plan for mineral independence. On one hand, they want massive taxpayer investments in electric vehicles, and on the other, they refuse to allow domestic mineral production as demand continues to skyrocket. Instead, this Administration has decided to leave American, blue-collar workers behind and bow to pressure from radicals who prefer to rely on foreign adversarial nations for these minerals.

Project opponents also spoke out after the news Wednesday, calling it “a huge and critical step for protecting America’s most popular Wilderness!”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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