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Good News for all Minnesotans and BWCAW visitors and supporters – Cash Assurances

It was announced today that Duluth Metals, the company wanting to mine 6000 ft. below birch lake on the edge of the Boundary Waters has signed an agreement with a Chilean company called Antofagasta.  This is great news for all Minnesotans and BWCAW visitors and supporters.  With this announcement comes financial commitments from Antofagasta:

Proper financing for Duluth Metals should now permit adequate cash assurances (damage deposit) to be paid to Minnesota for any environmental problems caused by their mining.  This should also influence our legislators to require cash assurances from PolyMet.  If there isn’t enough money in the “till” to cover any “OOPS” within their intended “Doing it Right” promise then there isn’t enough money to “Do it Right!”  And, if they can’t come up with that level of financing and commitment and cash financial assurances they shouldn’t be here.

  • Antofagasta will provide US $130 million in direct funding to the project for its 40% interest in the joint venture;
  • Thereafter, if Antofagasta elects to proceed with the further funding of the project and to maintain its 25% Option, Antofagasta will disproportionately fund 65% of the joint venture expenditures and Duluth will fund 35%;
  • Additionally, Antofagasta has agreed to provide Duluth with up to US $30 million in additional funding to cover Duluth’s share of subsequent project expenditures, which will ultimately be repayable in cash, Duluth shares or offset against the 25% Option exercise price;
  • Antofagasta will also subscribe to a private placement of Duluth shares for approximately US $11.6 million;
  • The combination of the initial funding commitment, private placement and incremental funding from Antofagasta ensures that up to US $ 227 million of funding will be available to advance the project with Antofagasta involvement, before any additional funding would be required from Duluth;
  • Antofagasta has also committed to pursue project financing, on a common basis with Duluth in respect of the large development capital cost financing requirements of the project.

With Antofagasta’s capitalization  of 16 billion there is now absolutely no reason or excuse that Minnesota’s politicians could conjure to prohibit full cash assurances to flow into the Minnesota coffers for any environmental damage caused by Duluth Metals and to insure a proper, clean, pollution free shut down when they are done with us.

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