PolyMet Mining Corp. on Friday announced the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released six draft water appropriation permits for public review and comment. They are the first of several major permits required to build and operate the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals project in northeastern Minnesota.

The individual water appropriation permits are needed to use or withdraw water from a surface or groundwater source for the project. The draft permits are subject to a 30-day public review and comment period, commencing today.

PolyMet submitted all of its major permit applications in 2016; the water appropriation permits are the first of the major draft permits to be released for public review and comment, the company said in a news release. Other permit applications currently under review by the DNR and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency include two dam safety permit applications, which completed local units of government and tribal review in June, and the Permit to Mine application.

“These six draft permits represent another big step forward for PolyMet. We anticipate the state will release the remaining draft permits for public review later this summer and fall,” said Jon Cherry, president and CEO.

The draft water appropriations permits, associated consolidated water appropriation permit application and other permit applications and their status are posted on www.polymet.mn.gov.