ST. PAUL, MN, Oct. 10, 2012 -- PolyMet Mining Corp. (TSX:POM) (NYSE MKT:PLM) (NYSE Amex:PLM) is pleased to announce it has successfully treated over one million gallons of water through its reverse osmosis (RO) pilot water treatment plant. The pilot plant has been operational since May 2012 and is designed to treat water containing elevated levels of sulfate. The purpose of the pilot plant is to demonstrate the ability to comply with Minnesota's strict water quality standards using a modular system that can be expanded to a full-scale treatment plant.
PolyMet owns the NorthMet Project, which comprises the development-stage NorthMet Project and the nearby Erie Plant located near Hoyt Lakes in the established mining district of the Mesabi Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota.
The NorthMet Project's potential impact on water quality is a key issue in the environmental review and permitting process. The successful pilot plant test is a significant accomplishment, demonstrating that water with elevated sulfate levels can be treated to meet Minnesota's 10 parts-per-million sulfate standard for waters used for the production of wild rice.
PolyMet partnered with GE Water & Process Technologies (GE) and Barr Engineering to design and operate the pilot plant using reverse osmosis membrane technology developed by GE. The test work demonstrates the technical and regulatory viability of reverse osmosis as a water treatment method that will enable PolyMet to successfully develop the NorthMet copper-nickel deposit and meet state and federal water quality standards.
"Our ability to successfully demonstrate the effectiveness of our planned water treatment systems prior to permitting and construction is extremely important," said Polymet President and Chief Executive Officer Jon Cherry. "We want both the community and agencies to understand our commitment to constructing and operating NorthMet Project in an environmentally responsible manner that meets all applicable standards."
Yuvbir Singh, general manager of Engineered Systems, GE Water and Process Technologies stated, "GE is pleased to be working with PolyMet and Barr to develop this site specific water treatment system. The combination of PolyMet and Barr's design and operating knowledge with GE's worldwide expertise in membrane treatment technology shows how application of the right technology can achieve compliance with very strict water quality standards."
PolyMet continues to operate the pilot treatment plant to refine operating parameters and increase efficiencies. PolyMet Mining Corp. (www.polymetmining.com) is a publicly-traded mine development company. Poly Met Mining Inc. has completed its Definitive Feasibility Study and is seeking environmental and operating permits to enable it to commence production. The NorthMet project is expected to require approximately two million hours of construction labor, creating approximately 360 long-term jobs, a level of activity that will have a significant multiplier effect in the local economy.