PolyMet Environmental Safeguards
Vancouver, British Columbia, January 25, 2007 – PolyMet Mining Corp. (TSX-V: POM; AMEX: PLM) ("PolyMet") has submitted its NorthMet Project Description to state and federal regulators. This extensive documentation lays out the Company's plans to develop its 100%-owned NorthMet project. NorthMet comprises a copper-nickel-precious metals ore-body and the nearby Erie Plant, located near Hoyt Lakes in the established mining district of the Mesabi Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota. The Project Description is the Company's submission of its development plans and proposed environmental safeguards to the independent environmental contractors who are preparing the Environmental Impact Statement. The key safeguards include:
- Zero water discharge from the mine site during operations by reusing and recycling process water, eliminating any discharge to surface waters;
- No additional tailings disposal areas required beyond those already developed at the Erie plant site;
- Mine area wetlands disturbance reduced to less than 900 acres, 25% to less than previous estimates ;
- All waste rock placed on liners so that discharge can be monitored and treated if necessary;
- All waste rock capped to minimize oxidation and possible acid generation;
- Continuous, progressive mine site reclamation;
- Modern, clean and energy-efficient hydrometallurgical metal recovery process;
- Comprehensive environmental compliance monitoring systems; and
- Financial assurance guaranty for closure of operations.
The NorthMet project benefits from more than 8 years of baseline monitoring and nearly three years of formal environmental planning, including a comprehensive program of waste rock characterization. PolyMet remains committed to meeting or exceeding Minnesota's stringent environmental standards. PolyMet's President and Chief Executive Officer, William Murray said, "the NorthMet ore body is low in sulfur compared with most sulfidic deposits. Our intent is to use the best mining and reclamation practices, coupled with the worlds cleanest and most energy efficient process technology." Immediately upon receipt of operating permits and production financing, PolyMet intends to start construction of the NorthMet Project with a goal of commercially producing high-quality copper metal, nickel and cobalt hydroxides and precious metals precipitates by late 2008. The project is expected to create at least 400 full-time, long-term jobs in northeastern Minnesota, and require about 1 million man hours of labor during the construction phase.
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PolyMet Mining Corp. (www.polymetmining.com) is a publicly-traded mine development company that owns 100% of the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals ore body and 100% of the Erie Plant, a large processing facility located approximately six miles from the ore body in the established mining district of the Mesabi Range in northeastern Minnesota. PolyMet has completed its Definitive Feasibility Study and is seeking environmental and operating permits in order to commence commercial production anticipated in the second half of 2008.