ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Minnesota regulators have opened a 30-day public comment
period on draft dam safety permits for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine
in northeastern Minnesota.

The most important permit deals with the tailings basin, which would use the
site of the existing basin for the defunct LTV iron ore mine near Hoyt Lakes.
The other deals with a processing facility.

Environmental groups have already objected, saying the dam design has changed
substantially from what was described in the final environmental impact
statement for the project. PolyMet says the changes won't have significant
environmental effects, and refinements are a normal part of the permitting
process.

The Department of Natural Resources will accept written public comments on the
draft permits until Oct. 16.

The project needs several state, federal and local permits to proceed.