Lawsuit Challenges Federal Leases for Planned Minnesota Mine

Nine Businesses have Sued the Interior Department
(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Nine Minnesota businesses that rely on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area have sued the Interior Department, challenging its decision to reinstate the federal mineral rights leases for the planned Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in the District of Columbia on Thursday says the department’s decision was unlawful and poses an immediate threat to businesses, the environment and the outdoor recreation economy.

The plaintiffs include outfitters, a resort and Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness.

The Interior Department reinstated Twin Metals’ expired leases last month after the Obama administration declined to renew them, citing the potential harm to the Boundary Waters.

The proposed mine site is upstream from the popular wilderness area.

A Twin Metals spokesman says the company has no immediate comment.

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