PolyMet Mining hopes to be the first Minnesota company to mine copper, nickel and precious metals in northern Minnesota. The company's NorthMet project would be located north of Hoyt Lakes in the Superior National Forest. Below is a timeline of the company's history in Minnesota.
1989: PolyMet leases mineral rights from U.S. Steel. The company would gain full rights to the NorthMet deposit in 2000.
2004: PolyMet begins environmental review process.
2005: PolyMet acquires the Erie Plant, which LTV Steel closed in 2001, laying off more than 1,000 workers.
2006: PolyMet completes feasibility study and company shares are offered on the American Stock Exchange, which later became the NYSE MKT.
Oct. 28, 2009: The DNR releases an Environmental Impact Statement on PolyMet's mine proposal.
Dec. 9, 2009: Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., urges DNR to support PolyMet's proposal.
Feb. 22, 2010: The EPA finds the draft Environmental Impact Statement for PolyMet's proposed mine inadequate.
Jan. 25, 2011: PolyMet hires Brad Moore, a former Minnesota Pollution Control Agency commissioner under Gov. Tim Pawlenty, to help its lobbying efforts. Moore is currently PolyMet's executive vice president of environmental and governmental affairs.
Feb. 3, 2011: PolyMet announces it will abandon plans to produce finished copper at the mine. The company said the move would save money and lessen environmental impacts.
May 23, 2012: A coalition of environmental groups launches a campaign against PolyMet's mine proposal, including website MiningTruth.org and billboards along Interstate 35 between the Twin Cities and Duluth.
June 21, 2012: Polymet names Jon Cherry as its new CEO. PolyMet's longtime CEO Joe Scipioni stays with the company and continues to hold the title of chief operating officer.
Aug. 14, 2013: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds significant progress on PolyMet's environmental review, compared to the inadequacies EPA officials found in 2010.
Dec. 6, 2013: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources releases the draft supplement to the Environmental Impact Statement for PolyMet's NorthMet copper-nickel mine. A comment period on the report begins.
Mid-2014: When PolyMet expects the final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed NorthMet project to be issued.
Late 2014: When PolyMet hopes to have permits in hand for the NorthMet copper-nickel mine.
2015: The earliest PolyMet expects construction could take place on the NorthMet copper-nickel mine.
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.