January 26, 2023 –
Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the 20-year withdrawal of 225,504 acres in Northern Minnesota’s Superior National Forest, specifically targeting the Twin Metals mine in the Duluth Complex.
“If Democrats were serious about developing renewable energy sources and breaking China’s stranglehold on the global market, they would be flinging open the doors to responsible mineral development here in the U.S.,” House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) said. “We cannot have a future of renewable energy without minerals, period – not to mention their necessity to our defense systems, satellites, cellphones and virtually every other advanced technology. While Democrats play political ping pong with American industries, China and Russia are laughing straight to the bank. The administration’s decision to withdraw this mineral-rich area – blatantly targeting one of our country’s most promising mines – is short-sighted, foolish and completely unscientific. Unfortunately, President Biden doesn’t seem to mind if Minnesota mining communities and the entire American economy pay the price.”
“Today is an attack on our way of life,” U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) said. “Joe Biden banned mining in 225,000 acres of Minnesota’s Iron Range, and locked up development of taconite, copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum-group elements, and more. Unfortunately, this harm to our country and our future has become the norm, as this president’s goal is to put America last. Not even one month ago, Joe Biden signed an agreement to fund mining projects in Chinese-owned mines in the Congo, where over 40,000 children work as slaves in forced labor and inhumane conditions with no environmental protections. Meanwhile today’s mining ban nullifies a Project Labor Agreement with the local building and construction trade unions. America needs to develop our vast mineral wealth, right here at home, with high-wage, union protected jobs instead of continuing to send American taxpayer dollars to countries like the Congo that use child slave labor. The only winner here is China, as Joe Biden continues to hand our foreign adversaries every advantage possible. I can assure you that this administration, from the president to the Forest Service, to the Interior Department, will answer for the pain they elected to cause my constituents today.”
Like all other mining projects in the U.S., the Twin Metals project must undergo robust regulatory reviews and prove it meets all environmental standards in order to operate. Project coordinators have designed a high-tech underground mine with a host of highly-advanced environmental protection measures. They also recently invested in an electric vehicle fleet, which greatly reduces onsite greenhouse gas emissions.
Upon completion, the Twin Metals mine would tap into vast domestic supplies of minerals like copper that are necessary for renewable energy, computer systems, defense applications and essential household products.
Northeast Minnesota is home to the world’s largest known undeveloped copper-nickel deposit, yet with today’s announcement, the Biden administration has clearly demonstrated its intent to block access to those resources.
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