Judge backs Minnesota's Twin Metals mine in lease dispute

A federal judge in Washington has rejected a challenge by environmental groups against the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

The judge ruled Tuesday that the Interior Department had the authority to reverse itself and renew the project's federal mineral rights leases.

The Obama administration tried to kill Twin Metals by rejecting the company's application to renew its leases, citing the risk to the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. But the Trump administration reinstated those leases.

The project's opponents, including the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters and Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, said they'll appeal. 

Twin Metals Minnesota files formal mine plan with regulators

Minnesota to do state review of proposed copper-nickel mine