Resolution Number 19-16 Twin Metals
RESOLUTION NUMBER 19-16
SUPPORT OF ACCESS AGREEMENT ON STATE LANDS
WHEREAS, there are more than 4 billion tons of copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, gold and other metal resources contained in northern Minnesota’s Duluth Complex, the largest known undeveloped deposit of strategic metals in the world; and
WHEREAS, demand for strategic metals continues to grow domestically and globally as nations invest in the emerging green energy economy; and
WHEREAS, the Twin Metals Minnesota project will create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds – potentially thousands – of long-term mining jobs. The PFS (Project Feasibility Study) Technical Report estimates the TMM Project will create approximately 850 full-time jobs when the mine is in operation, and will generate some 12 million labor hours during a roughly three-year construction period. According to a University of Minnesota Duluth study, the Project would generate approximately 1,700-1,900 additional indirect jobs in the region’s economy; and
WHEREAS, Twin Metals and its predecessor Duluth Metals Limited have been conducting environmental studies and assessments for more than five years and those efforts will continue during development of the MPO (Mining Plan of Operation). Environmental information from in and around Twin Metals Minnesota’s land and mineral assets will feed into the formal; Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) that will be conducted by state and federal agencies. Key environmental issues include: surface water quality and hydrology, threatened and endangered species, air quality, plant life, wetlands and socioeconomic factors; and
WHEREAS, in the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970, Congress declared that it is the continuing policy of the Federal Government, in the national interest, to foster and encourage private enterprise in (among other goals) the development of domestic mineral resources and the reclamation of mined land. This Federal policy obviously applies to National Forest System lands; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Forest Service recognizes the importance of National Forest System mineral resources to the well-being of the Nation and encourages bona-fide mineral exploration and development; and
WHEREAS, royalties from the Twin Metals Minnesota project will contribute significant revenues to Minnesota’s K-12 public schools through the Minnesota Permanent School Fund; and
WHEREAS, in 1858, Minnesota received a large land grant from the federal government with the intent that the lands provide a long-term source of funds for public education in the state. Today, Minnesota owns 2.5 million acres of school trust land, which generates royalties for the Permanent School Fund from the timber and mining industries. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is responsible for managing the school trust land for “maximum long-term economic return”; and
WHEREAS, currently, the Minnesota Permanent School Fund has assets of approximately $800 million, which generates an average annual payment of $25 million to public schools throughout the state. In a recent analysis by the Minnesota DNR, it is estimated that new strategic metals mining (copper, nickel, platinum, palladium and gold) in Minnesota could generate $2.5 billion in additional royalties for the Permanent School Fund over a ten year period, significantly increasing the annual financial support provided to Minnesota schools.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF MOUNTAIN IRON, MINNESOTA, that the City of Mountain Iron respectfully disagrees with the position taken by Governor Dayton in denying the approval of the state land Access Agreement to Twin Metals MN, as they were negotiated by his agency and Commissioner Landwehr of the Department of Natural Resources.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Mountain Iron respectfully requests that the Governor reconsider his position and allow his agencies to act in the best interests of Minnesotans and in particular those in northeastern Minnesota where mining has been successfully and environmentally coexisting with our wonderful natural beauty and wilderness for over a century while serving as the very found on of our economic base.
DULY ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL THIS 21st DAY OF MARCH, 2016.
Mayor Gary Skalko