PolyMet and Twin Metals say they’ll create thousands of jobs

Thursday, November 07, 2019

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The promise of thousands of jobs from a boom in copper-nickel mining has won the new industry broad political support on the Iron Range. But where a rush in employment creates opportunity, it may also present a challenge.

The state is facing an escalating workforce shortage sparked by retiring baby boomers. There are more than 146,000 job vacancies in the state, including nearly 8,000 in northeast Minnesota, and industrial sectors of the economy such as manufacturing have not been spared from the labor crunch.

Workforce leaders and two companies that hope to build Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mines, PolyMet Mining and Twin Metals Minnesota, are not predicting jobs would go unfilled if the projects are approved by environmental regulators and built. But they have been setting the groundwork to raise a sizeable new labor force. PolyMet says it plans to directly employ 360 people at an open-pit mine near Hoyt Lakes and create more than 600 spinoff jobs. Twin Metals says it expects to hire 700 at an underground mine near Ely and create 1,400 indirect jobs.

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Category: Investors