Twin Metals has sued the Biden administration in the US to reclaim its proposed copper and nickel mine in Minnesota.
The move follows the cancellation of the Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) underground copper, nickel and platinum group metals (PGMs) mining project by the US Interior Department earlier this year, citing concerns that the mine could contaminate a major recreational waterway.
The lawsuit was filed by Twin Metals Minnesota in the United States District Court in Washington, D.C., claiming that the lease cancellations were ‘arbitrary and capricious’.
A unit of Chilean firm Antofagasta, Twin Metals said it should have the right to prove the project’s environmental standards.
The firm is now looking to reverse the federal agencies’ actions, which are intended to prevent the development of its mining project.
Twin Metals operations director Dean DeBeltz said: “We are standing up for our right to a fair and consistent environmental review of our proposed mining project.
“Our plan is backed by decades of exploration and analysis and is rooted in the most environmentally sophisticated design, which is tailored for our project location and mineral deposit. It deserves a fair evaluation by federal regulators based on its merits.”
Subject to restoring the leases and other rights, the firm plans to resume the environmental review process for the project as required by law.
However, opponents claim that the Twin Metals’ proposed mine could affect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a 405,000ga preserve on the US-Canada border, reported Reuters.
Minnesota conservation group Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters official Becky Rom was cited by the news agency as saying: “A water-rich environment is the wrong place to mine.
“The lawsuit is almost a (last ditch) effort on their part to try to somehow shoehorn in a mine.”