In a case that appears to turn the logic of citizen actions against mine owners on its head, a group of Minnesota residents is suing the state and the Governor over a decision to revoke mineral leases.
While disgruntled residents opposed to mines usually go to court to try to stop the mine, the legal case in the Midwestern state centres around whether the state government and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton violated state law and the U.S Constitution by interfering with mineral lease renewals for Twin Metals Minnesota and Franconia Minerals, which are planning on mining copper and nickel in northern Minnesota.
Among the plaintiffs are a group calling itself Up North Jobs Inc., which aims to promote job growth and economic development in the area.
“One of the state’s executive officers acting alone cannot act for the Executive Council as a whole,” they said in the civil complaint quoted by Business North, adding: “The Governors’ act denying access to and banning mining on state lands in the Rainy River watershed of the Superior National Forest was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not based on science or fact that puts the proposed mining project of Franconia and Twin Metals in jeopardy.”
“Denying access to the valuable minerals in which they have a vested interest, constitutes a non-compensated taking whereby they have been deprived of their property, without due process of law, and violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
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