ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton says he's moved from being "genuinely undecided'' on the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine to being a genuine supporter of the project.

Dayton says nothing of that magnitude is risk-free, but he thinks it's a risk worth taking. However, he adds, PolyMet still must meet the environmental permitting requirements. And he says he won't interfere with state agency decisions on those permits.

Many Iron Range residents back PolyMet because it promises 360 permanent jobs in the Hoyt Lakes-Babbit area and a revitalized mining industry. But environmentalists say it could lead to environmental disaster.

Dayton says he's not as comfortable with another proposed copper-nickel mine, Twin Metals near Ely, because it's in a watershed that flows into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.