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Ruling about leases favors Twin Metals

A federal judge has upheld a mineral lease reinstatement for Twin Metals. A federal judge has upheld a mineral lease reinstatement for Twin Metals. |  Photo: Twin Metals

Created: March 18, 2020 09:37 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge in Washington has rejected a challenge by environmental groups against the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota,

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The judge ruled Tuesday that the Interior Department had the authority to reverse itself and renew the project's federal mineral rights leases.

The Obama administration tried to kill Twin Metals by rejecting the company's application to renew its leases, citing the risk to the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. But the Trump administration reinstated those leases.

Twin Metals said in a statement, "We are very gratified that this decision - a summary judgement - validates our contention that the decision to cancel leases held in good standing for more than 50 years was arbitrary and wrong," said Kelly Osborne, CEO of Twin Metals.

The project's opponents, including the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters and Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, said they'll appeal

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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