ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has handed environmental groups a victory by putting two key permits for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine on hold ahead of a hearing next month.
The appeals court stayed PolyMet's permit to mine and dam safety permit Wednesday, saying the Department of Natural Resources failed to adequately consider two important developments that happened after the agency issued the permits.
One was the massive failure of a tailings basin dam at a mine in Brazil that had some similarities with the dam PolyMet plans to build. The other is the acquisition of a majority stake in PolyMet by Swiss commodities giant Glencore.
Minnesota Public Radio reports that the order says the DNR should be prepared to address those issues at a previously scheduled hearing Oct. 23.