Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) is pleased that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in consultation with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), has renewed TMM’s federal mineral leases, held in good standing for more than 50 years, the company said in a prepared statement. 

The leases cover land nine miles southeast of Ely, which TMM said is "one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of copper, nickel, and platinum group metals." It includes the area where TMM is preparing a proposal for an underground mine.

The announcement was made today by Department of Interior Assistant Secretary for Land and Mineral Management Joe Balash. Congressman Pete Stauber (R-Minnesota) and Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minnesota) attended the announcement.

The renewed leases add new conditions, including higher annual royalty payments, project milestones, and additional environmental requirements.

“This lease renewal is a critical step to allow us to present a proposal for our underground mine project,” said Kelly Osborne, TMM chief executive officer. “It’s very good news for us and for the communities in northeastern Minnesota who look forward to the hundreds of jobs and major economic development this mine will bring.”

In coming months, TMM will submit its mine proposal to state and federal agencies for  environmental and scientific review by regulatorss. TMM is already working with the BLM, USFS, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and other government regulatory agencies to facilitate the process.

TMM said it has more than $450 million already invested in the project and is committed to developing these resources in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner.