PolyMet will appeal permit ruling to Minnesota Supreme Court

The closed LTV Steel taconite plant
The closed LTV Steel taconite plant near Hoyt Lakes, Minn., that would become part of a proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine.
Jim Mone | AP 2016

PolyMet Mining Inc. said Thursday it will ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that canceled three permits needed for its proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

PolyMet President and CEO Jon Cherry said in a statement that Monday's decision from the Court of Appeals has far-reaching impacts for Minnesota and any future project that depends on state permits.

The appeals court gave environmentalists a big victory by sending the dispute back to the Department of Natural Resources for a trial-like contested case hearing before a neutral administrative law judge on the project's environmental risks.

PolyMet pointed out that the DNR has already held a 15-year-long environmental review and permitting process that included numerous chances for the public to weigh in.

"No other company in the history of the state has been subjected to anywhere near the time and cost that was associated with this permitting process," Cherry said. "We did everything the state and the law required, and more. And the process confirmed that our project will be protective of human health and the environment."

The company said it will file its petition with the Supreme Court within the 30-day deadline.

The DNR has not yet said whether it will appeal.

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