The Twin Metals project is at risk due to the U.S. ban on mineral mining in northeast Minnesota. This restriction will last for 20 years. Regarding this, the project’s owner, Chilean company Antofagasta Plc, will not be able to mine copper and nickel in the designated area. However, Antofagasta intends to defend its rights to access the mineral deposit.
If the Twin Metals project is built, it might become the main source of copper and nickel in the U.S. Currently, there is only one nickel mine in the country, which will also be closed by 2025.
In addition to its impact on the Twin Metals project, the ban significantly complicates the transition to green energy by blocking the source of needed minerals. Copper and nickel are used in the production of electric vehicles, solar panels, and other devices based on renewable energy sources.
However, the U.S. President’s Administration stated that the risk to northern Minnesota’s ecology is too high.
It remains unclear now if the administrations of future U.S. presidents might overturn the ban. Only Congress has the power to make it permanent.