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Developers seek financing for Minnesota copper-nickel mine

HOYT LAKES, Minn. (AP) — Developers of a proposed copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota are courting bankers for $950 million in financing, even as environmental groups push back against the project over fears of water pollution.

Jon Cherry, chief executive of PolyMet Mining Corp., tells the Star Tribune that he’s confident the project will move forward despite concerns over its environmental permits.

The Minnesota legislative auditor recently announced an investigation into state regulators’ handling of a water-quality permit for the mine. It comes a month after the state’s appeals court ruled in PolyMet’s favor in a challenge from environmental groups.

Cherry says the global mining giant Glencore’s ownership in the project will partly determine how it’s financed. The Switzerland-based company holds a 29% equity stake in PolyMet, but the amount could increase.

Developers hope to begin building it next year.

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