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The Ely Echo
Ely, Minnesota
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August 24, 2019     The Ely Echo
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August 24, 2019
 

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Section I THE ELY ECHO/Page 12 ELECTED OFFIVIALS including Ely City Council member AI Forsman joined community members for the project labor agreement announcement at Twin Metals Minnesota. Photo by Nick Wognum. SATURDAY AUGUST 24r 201p' STATE REP Rob Ecklund at Twin Metals Minnesota. Photo by Nick Wognum. METALS MINNESOTA STATE SENATOR David Thomassoni. U.S. REP. Pete Stauber. ELY Mayor Chuck Novak. Photos by Eric Sherman (Continued from Page 1) water-rich environment and quality work we insist on." submit a formal mining plan, too close to the neighboring Mike Syvesurud, presi- and the permitting process Boundary Waters Canoe dent of the Iron Range Build- is likely to take years and Area Wilderness. ing and Construction Trades face both legal and political They contend waterwaysCouncil, said the deal im- hurdles, will be polluted and the pacts everyone from asbes- But Twin Metals has al- region's tourism economy tos workers to the Teamsters. ready invested over $450 will be damaged, but Twin "This puts our people to million into a project that Metals has pledged to meet work," he said. could lead to hundreds of environmental regulations Syvesrud said the deal permanent mining jobs, and and says the project will "continues a strong tradition company officials said this be subject to "rigorous and of union labor on the Iron week that they're here for extensive environmental and Range." the long haul. scientific review by regula- PolyMet, which recently "We aren't going any- tory agencies, gained permits to devel- where," said Twin Metals Ely Mayor Chuck Novak op the region's first cop- CEO Kelly Osborne. "Weacknowledged the opposi- per-nickelmine at the former want to build this mine, and tion and challenged those LTV plant in Hoyt Lakes, we're committed to doing who are fighting the project signed a similar project la- this right." "to come and see what's bor agreement more than a Earlier this year, Twin really going on instead of decade ago. Metals gained a key victory dreaming things up." "We are thrilled to cele- when the Trump Admin- Tomassoni, who has five brate this milestone," Syves- istration reinstated critical e.xisting taconite mines in rud said of the Twin Metals mineral leases that were his Senate district and joked agreement. "It will ensure taken away by the Obama that he wanted to "adopt" that unior workers and their Administration in late-2016. Ely, pointed to technological families can continue to live U.S. Rep. Pete Stauberadvances. He cited anexam- on the Iron Range as the cited that decision, as well as pie of a mine worker using Twin Metals underground ongoing efforts by environ- a joystick at ground level mine project comes to life." mental groups to torpedo the to operate an excavator far Dean DeBeltz, Twin Met- project, during an emotional underground, als' director of operations address at Wednesday's cer- "Today's mining is rnod- and safety, looked back and emony, ern," said Tomassoni. "It has ahead during his remarks on "We would not be here the best technology." a windy morning. today if we didn't have an Yet before Twin MetalsA fourth-generation Ely- administration that under- can mine for copper, nickel ire, Debeltz looked back to stands the value of what and other precious metals it an erawhen Ely was home to mining does for a commu- must first gain permitting, the Pioneer Mine, pointing nity," said Stauber. and then put to use the deal to the jobs it provided and Stauber added that"today signed this week that would the impact it had. we bring labor and the future pump tens of millions of "It was mining money together," contending that dollars into the region s that built Ely's schools and "mining is our past, present economy, mining taxes that helped and future." State Rep. Rob Ecklundmaintain them," said De- He also took aim at en- (D-International Falls) was Beltz. vironmental groups as well a longtime union laborer DeBeltz is also the fourth as political candidates fight- and hailed the agreement generation in his family to ing the project, including between Twin Metals and work in mining, with a col- a thinly-veiled reference the trades group, lective 110 years of industry to opposition announced "It's a great day for Ely," experience. earlier in the week by U.S. said Ecklund. "By signing "If anybody tells you, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one this agreement, it's some- they're short-term jobs, don't of the leading contenders for thing that ensures the project believe them," said DeBeltz. the Democractic presidential gets done the way it should He too acknowledged the nomination, be done." opposition to the project and "Please understand ourOsborne said Twin Met-took aim at one of the core way of life and understand als was "proud to partner arguments. these minerals are critical to with Minnesota's union"We've proven that min- our every day life and to our trades" and that the result ing and tourism can coexist, security," said Stauber. will be that "the construe- and we'll prove it again," Opponents contend thattion phase of our project will said DeBeltz. the copper-nickel mine pro- be completed by profession- posed by Twin Metals is als whose specialized skills MINING supporters Jay Mackie and John Chetesnik at, Twin Metals Wednesday. SPEAKING from the Ely office of Twin Metals was Dean DeBeltz.