Biden announces 20-year ban on mining in Minnesota, undermining national mineral security

The Biden administration has announced a 20-year mining moratorium on thousands of acres of land in Minnesota, citing the need to protect the natural environment. This could hurt Twin Metals, a major mining company with an interest in the area. The move has drawn criticism from mining associations and parliamentarians who argue the mining is necessary for the country’s mineral security.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed Public Lands Order 7917, according to Jan. 26. Press release From the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).

It said the action would protect the Rainey River Basin, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, from “potential adverse effects” of mineral or geothermal exploration and development.

“Protecting places like the Boundary Waters is key to supporting the health of the wildlife in and around the Watershed, upholding tribal trust and treaty responsibilities, and boosting the local recreational economy.” Secretary Holland said in a release.

“With a view to preserving this special place for future generations, I made this decision using the best available science and extensive public opinion,” she said. rice field.

This decision could hurt the interests of Minnesota-based Twin Metals. Twin Metals is about to build an underground mine in the near-wilderness city of Ely.

Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minnesota), who represents the area where Minnesota-based Twin Metals Mining Company’s copper-nickel mine was to be built, called the Biden administration’s decision “an attack on our way of life. ’ I called. “

Interdiction of Domestic Mineral Exploitation

Stover points out that the Biden administration is funding mining projects in Congo’s Chinese-owned mines, where “more than 40,000 children are enslaved in forced labour.” Environmental protection has not been observed.

“Instead of continuing to send American taxpayer dollars to countries like the Congo that use child slave labor, the United States will develop its vast mineral resources here in union-protected, high-paying jobs. I need it,” he said. statement.

“The only winner here is China. Joe Biden continues to give his foreign opponents every advantage possible.”

so statement On Jan. 26, National Mining Association (NMA) CEO Rich Nolan criticized the Biden administration’s move, citing America’s aspirations to be a “manufacturing, innovation and climate leader.” said it was “meaningless.” “

Nolan said the U.S. government has imposed a mining moratorium on thousands of acres of land in Minnesota, and demand for minerals such as nickel, cobalt and copper is “soaring” due to solar and wind power generation. because it is widely used in the infrastructure of Electric car.

These lands could provide a “rich source” of these minerals to U.S. manufacturers. By closing more American land, the administration is cutting off high-paying domestic jobs. Nolan pointed out.

Twin Metal and the Blow to U.S. Self-Sufficiency

Biden’s announcement comes after he canceled two federal mining leases owned by Twin Metals last year. The lease was in excellent national forest located outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The company had filed a lawsuit against the administration over the cancellation of the lease.

Twin Metals is “deeply disappointed and stunned” by the 20-year mining moratorium, the company said in a statement. statement January 26th.

“The region is home to the world’s largest deposit of critical minerals that are critical to achieving America’s goals of transitioning to a clean energy future, creating American jobs, enhancing national security, and strengthening domestic supply chains. It is located above one.”

Twin Metals is a subsidiary of Chile-based Antofagasta. If the company’s proposed underground mine is fully constructed, it would become a major source of nickel and copper for the United States.

The Duluth complex is home to one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-nickel deposits, with at least 200 years of resource potential, Twin Metals claims.

There is currently only one nickel mine in the United States, which is scheduled to close by 2025.