When the land exchange was incorporated into the federal and state Environmental Impact Statement process, PolyMet acquired high-quality forest lands that will be exchanged for surface land above and around the NorthMet mineral rights. Those land purchases were financed, in part, with a loan from the IRRRB. PolyMet has repaid the original principal together with accrued interest totaling $5.1 million. Therefore the lands to be exchanged are now unencumbered, which will facilitate the exchange once the U.S. Forest Service issues its Final Record of Decision - the draft ROD was issued in November 2015 indicating the exchange was in the public interest.
"Repaying the IRRRB loan in full is an example of PolyMet's commitment to the local community, the state, the environment, and our investors," Cherry said. "We are sincerely grateful for the continued encouragement and support we get from Iron Rangers, the Range delegation, and business and labor communities statewid