Houston-Exploration and development company PolyMet Mining has obtained a mining license from Minnesota and plans to mine Northmet copper, nickel and cobalt in the northeastern part of the state, Houston-based exploration and development company PolyMet Mining said Thursday.
"We look forward to building and operating a modern mine and developing minerals that can support and enhance global resources," Jon Cherry, president and chief executive of MolyMet, said in a statement. Responsible development of these strategic minerals in accordance with these permits while protecting Minnesota's natural resources is our top priority.
After commissioning in 2020, the mine is expected to produce an average of 72 million pounds of copper per year, 15.4 million pounds of nickel per year, 720000 pounds of cobalt per year and 106000 ounces of precious metals per year. PolyMet looks set to be the first company to put copper, nickel and cobalt into commercial production. The mine is also expected to produce platinum group metals and gold as by-products.
PolyMet stated that, as a result of permission, the site selection and rehabilitation of the (LTV Steel Mining Company) processing facilities of the former LTV Iron and Steel Mining Company would continue into winter and early spring and that the company was preparing to modernize these facilities in order to process ore for the Northmet project.
The company acquired (LTV Steel Mining Company), a LTV steel mining company, between 2005 and 2006.
Most of the renovation work is expected to begin in 2019. The company says a school of business and economics at the University of Nisuda, which studies the economic impact, estimates that the project will generate more than $500 million a year in economic benefits and 660 indirect jobs, as well as 360 years of full-time jobs.
Plans to develop the mine date back about 13 years, when the mine was implemented due to strong demand for nickel-based superalloys in stainless steel, cobalt in nickel-based superalloys in aerospace and industrial gas turbines and PGMs in automotive cataysts. But demand for battery materials such as nickel and cobalt has also pushed the mine into production in recent years to boost the lives of electric vehicles, PolyMet said.
(Bruce Richardson), a spokesman for the company, said in August that the company was seeking to coordinate final financing for a $1.2 billion project, some of which could come from Glencore.
Earlier, Glencore advanced $80 million in cash to PolyMet on March 26 for detailed engineering and pre-construction work. Glencore (Glencore) has agreed to recoup all output from the mine in its first five years of operation.
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