QualityStocks would like to highlight PolyMet Mining Corp. (NYSE-A: PLM), a mine development company that controls 100% of the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals ore body through a long-term lease and owns 100% of the Erie Plant, a large processing facility located approximately six miles from the ore body in the established mining district of the Mesabi Range in northeastern Minnesota. PolyMet Mining Corp. has completed its Definitive Feasibility Study and is seeking environmental and operating permits to enable it to commence production.
In the company’s news yesterday,
PolyMet Mining announced continued progress on the NorthMet project’s environmental review.
The company has been working hand-in-hand with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to formulate a comprehensive draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will map out the project details, as well as potential ecological impact (this document will serve as the basis for permitting decisions by relevant agencies).
PolyMet has spent considerable time and effort developing the most comprehensive water, air, and wetland environmental impact models possible for both the operational interval and for afterwards. The models will also serve as a blueprint for bringing the project into tight alignment with all state and federal environmental standards, serving as a guide for the requisite engineering requirements needed to meet those standards.
This new EIS will feature several key enhancements over the previously published one from back in 2009, satisfying in detail the environmental concerns raised by the EPA and others. The rigorous analytical work being done by PLM to ensure the long-term success of the NorthMet project satisfies what is perhaps the single most important regulatory obstacle for the company here and no time or effort has been held back as the completion of this review, as well as the publication of a supplemental draft EIS, draws closer.
The current timeline moving forward looks pretty standard for this sort of operation, with agency review and quality assurance/control secured for the environmental models coming fist, then incorporation of the engineering requirements to ensure state/federal standards are met, next will be the supplemental EIS with agency comments from sources like the EPA meshed in (subsequent release to public), and finally the process culminates in preparation/release of the final EIS in anticipation of permitting.
PLM is on-track for permitting and that’s the key take away here, with lead regulatory agencies updating the running schedule for the NorthMet EIS, and a Q1 2013 supplemental draft publication date being anticipated (agency review format available 2-3 months prior).
The NorthMet project would be a good deal for Northern Minnesota, creating some 360 stable, long-term jobs and infusing the local economy with considerable parallel activity, as the (projected 1.5M hours of construction labor time) build itself, in conjunction with resulting activity will infuse the region with capital/economic activity. Having already completed the definitive feasibility study on NorthMet, PLM is quite eager to get to work going after the resource and one can see a flurry of activity now at the company’s HQ, located nearby the mine in Hoyt Lakes.
The schedule should be finalized sometime next month in early June and the company plans to make interim milestone achievement reports as the publication date approaches.
PolyMet has quite a developing project on their hands in MN and looks to continue branching out as well as the company strives to live up to their mission statement of pursuing copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum, palladium, and gold resources.
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