Posted in | News | Copper | Nickel

PolyMet Mining Makes Improvements and Further Progress on NorthMet Project

PolyMet Mining Corp. ("PolyMet" or the "Company") is pleased to report project improvements and further progress in the environmental review of its 100%-owned copper-nickel-precious metals project (the "NorthMet Project") located in the established mining district of the Mesabi Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), US Forest Service (USFS), and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are the "Lead Agencies" responsible for producing a supplemental draft Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS"), which will describe the project and its potential impacts in detail, providing the foundation for issuance of permits and approvals required to construct and operate the project.

Project Improvements

In addressing comments on the draft EIS, PolyMet has undertaken an extensive review of all aspects of the NorthMet Project which has resulted in numerous improvements that will reduce the Project's environmental impacts. These improvements are in addition to the previously announced operational and economic enhancements, which were described in the NorthMet Updated Technical Report under National Instrument 43-101, filed on January 23, 2013.

The reduced environmental impacts include:

  • Reductions in sulfur dioxide, mercury and greenhouse gas emissions at the plant site.
  • Capture of groundwater and surface seepage with the construction of an in ground containment system to the north and west of the existing tailings basin.
  • All contact water discharged from the project will be treated through reverse osmosis ("RO") plants. Based on a pilot scale RO treatment plant that has successfully treated over 1.5 million gallons of water to date, contact water discharge will meet applicable state and federal water quality standards, including (but not limited to) Minnesota's wild rice standard for sulfate.

These design improvements have been incorporated into the groundwater, surface water and air dispersion models that assess potential environmental impacts of the project.

Jon Cherry, PolyMet's president and CEO stated, "Reductions in the environmental impact of our project are a significant step toward completion of the supplemental draft EIS, which is on track for mid-summer 2013."

Mr. Cherry continued, "We are now commencing detailed capital and operating cost updates based on these project changes and are reviewing detailed construction plans and schedules to prepare for project construction once we receive permits."

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