April 1, 2019
Onsite Update: Fall/Winter 2018/19
If you were around the Hoyt Lakes area last fall, you likely noticed more activity at the NorthMet project site. With all the major state and federal permits now in hand, we have begun work to prepare the site for future construction and operation.
All Major State and Federal Permits Issued
The fall and winter of 2018/19 will go down as one of the more significant periods in PolyMet history. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Pollution Control Agency issued all of their key permits for the project, including the Permit to Mine. This was the first permit ever issued by the state to a non-ferrous mining project. Other permits included dam safety, water appropriations, air and water quality and takings permits. These were followed in early 2019 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issuing its final Record of Decision and Section 404 wetlands permit. These account for all the major state and federal permits and authorizations PolyMet requires to build and operate the NorthMet project.
Project Site Visits and Tours
We hosted numerous local, state and national visitors who wanted to learn more about our project and see it for themselves. These included industry leaders, politicians, agency officials, journalists, college and high school students such as the geology class at Wayzata High School (pictured above), potential new hires and other interested and interesting people. We enjoy showing people the ins and outs of our project. We know our visitors leave with a better appreciation of the lengths our team has gone to safely and effectively extract these essential minerals and protect our environment.
Site Preparation Work
Considerable behind-the-scenes and on-the-ground work goes into preparing a site for mining operations. We are using final permit conditions to complete detailed engineering — the comprehensive plan for constructing a modern mine. We have also been cleaning up the existing site, including asbestos abatement, to ensure things are safe for construction to begin. Infrastructure investment has been a significant component of site preparation. Specifically, ensuring we can monitor and maintain our water quality at and around the site. We drilled additional monitoring wells this fall and winter, which will allow us to measure groundwater levels accurately and efficiently before, during and after operations. These new wells will provide us with a clear picture of groundwater quality and flow on the site. The PolyMet team and Iron Range communities are excited to reach this stage where we see visual signs of progress. We’re thankful to our supporters for their encouragement, excitement and energy that has powered us to this point. We will continue to share updates as we build on this momentum.