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Minnesota Court of Appeals weighs challenges to PolyMet mine

Associated Press

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FILE - This undated file photo shows the LTV Steel processing plant near Hoyt Lakes, Minn., which was taken over by PolyMet Mining Corp. to use as a copper-nickel processing plant. (AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Wednesday on challenges by environmentalists and the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa to the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine.

The groups want to overturn decisions by the Department of Natural Resources to grant the project a permit to mine, and a dam safety permit, and its decision not to hold a contested case hearing before a neutral administrative law judge.

The Court of Appeals will also consider whether to extend a stay on the permits.

The court wants more information on how the DNR evaluated two developments that happened after the agency approved the permits last year. A mine dam failed in Brazil that had some similarities with PolyMet’s design, and Swiss commodities giant Glencore acquired a controlling stake in PolyMet.