Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and nine outdoor businesses have filed a second lawsuit over the two minerals leases reissued to Twin Metals Minnesota last year.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., claims the federal environmental review for the lease renewals was superficial, falling far short of what’s required under federal law.
It’s the coalition’s second legal challenge to the lease renewals required for Twin Metals to mine on public land in Superior National Forest, next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
A federal judge ruled against the Minnesota groups earlier this year in the first case, a separate challenge in the same court. The groups intend to appeal that decision.
The leases are critical for Twin Metals and parent company Antofagasta in Chile, one of the world’s largest copper miners, to build an underground copper-nickel mine in Minnesota.
The Trump administration reissued the two leases, reversing a decision of the Obama administration, which found that copper mining in Superior National Forest posed an unacceptable risk to the pristine Boundary Waters.