DNR - Quarterly PolyMet permitting update

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DNR - Quarterly PolyMet Permitting Update

January 11, 2017

To facilitate regular updates on the State’s review of PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet project, the DNR and MPCA will each be issuing quarterly messages to those who have signed up to the GovDelivery list.  The agencies’ January 2017 messages are the first quarterly updates.

Permit to Mine

PolyMet submitted a Permit to Mine application to the DNR on November 3, 2016.  Since then, the DNR has received reference documents and additional pages for the application from PolyMet. Additional submittals were uploaded to the NorthMet project website as they were received. The date of upload and specific page(s) are noted on the website where additions were made. DNR technical experts and external consultants continue to review PolyMet’s Permit to Mine application and we may add information to the application in the future. 

Financial Assurance

DNR’s external consultant, EOR, has completed the three reports on financial assurance to help guide the agency’s review of the application.  DNR and EOR’s review of the application is ongoing.  The three reports are available on the DNR NorthMet webpage.

  • Financial Capabilities: This report assesses PolyMet’s ability to provide financial assurances required for the proposed project. It also assesses potential financial risks to the State.
  • Financial and Technical Metrics: This report identifies the liabilities requiring financial assurance, provides an assessment of those obligations, determines the data needed to quantify them, and discusses possible financial avenues for funding.
  • Case Studies: This report provides case studies of non-ferrous mines with insufficient financial assurance and reasons why they were underfunded. It also includes studies of non-ferrous mines that are providing financial assurance and achieving substantive long-term compliance.

Wetland Replacement Plan

DNR has completed its initial review of PolyMet’s proposed Wetland Replacement Plan and has determined that additional information is needed.  PolyMet continues to work with the DNR to provide the additional information needed for the plan.

Dam Safety

PolyMet submitted additional information for one of the NorthMet Dam Safety Permit applications. The submittal establishes a plan to increase the amount of buttress material in specific areas in lieu of implementing plans for cement deep soil mixing. This additional information will be part of the Dam Safety application review process.

Water Appropriation

DNR technical experts continue to review the Water Appropriation applications for the project. It is anticipated that one additional application will be submitted in the future. If received, this application will be posted to the DNR web site and a GovDelivery will be sent to notify individuals that a new application has been received by the DNR.

More Information

All GovDelivery messages, and additional documents, reports, and applications received to date are available on the web portal at: