Minnesota Court of Appeals dismisses challenge to PolyMet air permit

22nd June 2022 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Tuesday granted PolyMet's motion to dismiss the last remaining challenge to the proposed nickel mine’s air permit.

According to TSX- and NYSE American-listed PolyMet Mining, the court agreed with the company that the case should be dismissed because project opponents failed to properly serve PolyMet under the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure, and that failure meant that the court lacked jurisdiction.

Barring an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court, the ruling lays to rest multiple legal challenges that mining opponents have brought against the permit since it was issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency more than three years ago. The agency reinstated the permit in December 2021 after fulfilling a Court of Appeals order to further explain its reasoning.

"This ruling is one more step toward delivering on our promise to build a modern, responsible mining operation that will feed a supply chain that is growing ever more hungry for the clean-energy minerals we will produce," said PolyMet chairperson, president and CEO Jon Cherry.

NorthMet will produce copper, nickel and cobalt and precious metals.

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency recommended that the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) should not reissue the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit for the proposed project.

The recommendation was made at a three-day public hearing in response to an objection from the Fond du Lac Band under Section 401 (a) (2) of the CWA to the Corps’ Section 404 permit for the project.

The USACE has extended the public comment period for the NorthMet mine permit by 15 days to June 30.