Jean Paul Luksic, executive president of Chilean company Antofagosta PLC, met this week with authorities and the press at the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field in Minneapolis to present the joint mining project developed with Duluth Metals – a venture now estimated to cost 2 billion US dollars.
The deal was signed last week to form Twin Metals Mining LLC. Sixty percent of Twin Metals is owned by Duluth Mining – which owns 3,000 acres of the deposit – and 40% by Antofagosta PLC, which is contributing 130 million USD to exploration and development funding over three years.
Antofagosta PLC, under certain conditions, could later expand its share by a further 25% percent, and has also agreed to contribute up to 30 million USD in addition.
The project plans to develop the Nokomis mining deposit, which is abundant in copper and nickel, as well as platinum, gold, silver and cobalt. The site, in Minnesota, is estimated to be capable of producing 40,000 tons of metals a day.
The proximity of the Nokomis site to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA), a large expanse of protected forest and lakes, has raised some public concerns over the possibility of pollution.
Despite these concerns, Duluth Metals Chairman Christopher Dundas said he was optimistic about the project, given its proposed mineshaft is at the farthest point from the BWCA.
“We believe at this stage of planning that we can meet or exceed all of the state standards,” Dundas said.
By Dustin Zarnikow – Santiago Times