The Minnesota Supreme Court said Wednesday that it will review a ruling by the state Court of Appeals that struck down three of PolyMet Mining Corp.'s permits.
The permits include the company's permit to mine and two dam safety permits — all issued by the state Department of Natural Resources in 2018. Both the company and the DNR petitioned the Supreme Court for review.
The company needs the permits to begin construction of the $1 billion copper-nickel mine near Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes. The mine would be the state's first nonferrous metals mine.
An appellate decision in January kicked the permits back to the DNR. The lower court ruled that the regulator should have held a hearing to fully vet objections by environmental groups and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
The objections include concerns about the safety of the huge tailings dam that PolyMet wants to build on top of an existing dam at the site that is already leaking. The lower court also said the DNR should have specified clear time limits in the permit to mine for the mine's entire life cycle.