Globe University – Woodbury Business Students Learn from Polymet Experts

PolyMet Mining visited Globe University – Woodbury in January to give our students an insight into what is required to start a mining operation.


Logo courtesy of PolyMet Mining

PolyMet Mining has corporate offices in Toronto, Ontario; is listed on the New Your Stock Exchange; and has executive offices in St. Paul, Minnesota. They also have an operations headquarters in Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. PolyMet Mining controls a world-class deposit of copper, nickel and precious metals near the Mesabi Iron Range in Northeastern Minnesota. The size of the deposit is estimated in the billions of tons of ore worth millions of dollars to the state and residents of Minnesota.

“This is one of the three largest unmined mineral deposits in the world” LaTisha Gietzen, VP public, governmental and environmental affairs, said.

The presentation focused on the requirements the federal government and the state imposed for safe mining and environmental concerns, the process and agencies involved, as well as how PolyMet Mining plans to fulfill those requests.

The economic impact to the State of Minnesota is estimated to be $400-$450 million per year, with the bulk of the impact being felt in St. Louis County, the site of the proposed mining. State permits are typically awarded in 20-year increments. PolyMet Mining estimates they have about 100 years of minerals in the ground.

Photo courtesy of PolyMet Mining Inc.

Photo courtesy of PolyMet Mining Inc.

“It is customary to receive permits for 20 years and then go through another permitting process,” Gietzen said.

By granting shorter permits, the state of Minnesota, as well as the mining companies, can assess the current environmental and economic conditions and make necessary changes to remain in compliance with state requirements and regulation changes.

Bruce Richardson, vice president of corporate communication, stated the company has spent $250 million so far to get to this point in the permitting stage of their operation. Gietzen presented a one-hour-long update on the progress PolyMet Mining has made in the last two years.

This type of information is what Globe wants our business students to be exposed to and understand. This is what really happens in the business world. This is how wealth is created and how companies create jobs. PolyMet Mining is an example of the entire spectrum of business. Lessons like this are hard to get from reading books.

Having a large company come to our school shows the support from the business community for what Globe University teaches. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn from a world-class operation and from industry experts.

Written by Thomas Hakko, business program chair at Globe University-Woodbury.