PolyMet Land Exchange Bill Passes U.S. House, Advances to Senate
Published: December 6, 2017 |
PolyMet Mining Corp., said that House Resolution 3115, the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2017, passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a bipartisan 309 to 99 vote and advances to the Senate.
The Forest Service authorized an administrative land exchange for the PolyMet Mining NorthMet Project in its final record of decision January 9, 2017.
The bipartisan bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D-MN-8 in July, directs the secretary of agriculture to move forward with the land exchange between PolyMet and the U.S. Forest Service. In passing the legislation, the House ratifies the Forest Service’s determination that the land exchange is in the best public interest. The bill calls for the exchange to be completed within 90 days of its enactment.
“We are grateful to Rep. Nolan, the bill’s co-sponsors, and House leadership for their efforts to move this legislation forward. While neither the legislative nor the administrative exchange would permit or approve construction of the mine, Congressional approval for the exchange provides certainty of process in developing the project by finalizing the land transfer,” said Jon Cherry, president and CEO.
The terms of the land exchange proposed in the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2017 are the same as those found in the administrative land exchange: PolyMet receives approximately 6,650 acres of surface land above and around its NorthMet ore body near an area heavily used for mining and mine infrastructure; in exchange, the Superior National Forest receives four parcels of land totaling 6,690 acres currently owned or controlled by PolyMet that will become part of the Superior National Forest. The difference is that the $425,000 equalization payment owed PolyMet by the Forest Service as a result of the administrative exchange would be waived by the company in the legislative exchange.
The bill’s co-sponsors are: House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Colin Peterson (D-MN) and fellow Minnesotans Timothy Walz (D), Tom Emmer (R) and Jason Lewis (R); and House Natural Resources Subcommittee leaders, including Energy and Mineral Resources Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Federal Lands Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA), Federal Lands Vice Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and senior House Natural Resources Members Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Doug Lamborn (R-CO).
PolyMet Mining Corp. is a publicly-traded mine development company that owns 100 percent of Poly Met Mining, Inc., a Minnesota corporation that controls 100 percent of the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals ore body through a long-term lease and owns 100 percent of the former LTV Steel Mining Company site, a large processing facility located approximately six miles from the ore body in the established mining district of the Mesabi Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota. Poly Met Mining, Inc. has completed its Definitive Feasibility Study. The NorthMet Final EIS was published in November 2015, preparing the way for decisions on permit applications. The NorthMet Project is expected to require approximately two million hours of construction labor, create approximately 360 long-term jobs directly, and generate a level of activity that will have a significant multiplier effect in the local economy.
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