Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Biden administration imposes 20-year mining ban on 225,000 acres of northern Minnesota


January 27, 2023

Brian Peterson, Star Tribune file

The proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine, a subsidiary of Chilean mining giant Antofagasta, would have operated near Birch Lake on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The Biden administration has withdrawn some 225,000 acres of national forest land in northern Minnesota from mineral leasing, protecting a swath of the watershed that adjoins the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The decision follows a 16-month review on whether the minerals lying under Superior National Forest should be open to extraction. The Department of Interior concluded the land should be protected for 20 years, the maximum possible without congressional approval.

In a study released in 2022, the U.S. Forest Service concluded that hard-rock mining on the land risked contaminating the Boundary Waters, even with mitigation measures in place.


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