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Lawsuit Seeks to Block Land Swap for PolyMet Copper Mine

Photo: AP file

January 30, 2017 09:10 PM

An environmental group has sued the U.S. Forest Service to block it from swapping land for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

PolyMet needs the land for its mine near Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes. The deal calls for trading 6,650 acres of federal land for a similar amount of private land.

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But Paula Maccabee, an attorney for WaterLegacy, says the Forest Service seriously undervalued the land when it agreed to the exchange because it ignored what the land would be worth as a mine. The complaint filed in federal court Monday says the government valued it at $550 per acre, as if it were timber land, instead of mining land worth much more.

PolyMet says it's confident in the accuracy of how the Forest Service appraised the land.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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