REPORT: With Twin Metals Owner’s Corrupt Past, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness At Risk
After Chilean Millionaire Wreaked Havoc in Home Country, Watchdog Group Asks, “Why Isn’t Klobuchar Fighting His Proposed Mine?”
Washington, D.C. – Today, watchdog group Accountable.US released a damning report on Chilean millionaire Andronico Luksic, who is trying to open the controversial Twin Metals mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), a world-class destination for recreation near the Canadian border in Minnesota.
According to the report, Luksic, who owns Antofagasta, Twin Metals’ parent company, has used questionable tactics to grease the wheels for his business interests, including the Los Pelambres mine in Chile. If the Trump administration approves Luksic’s plan to mine near the iconic BWCAW wilderness, Minnesota could be exposed to the same corruption, pollution, and dangerous conditions that plagued Luksic’s project in his home country.
Despite the imminent danger threatening Minnesota’s public lands and waters, Senator Amy Klobuchar has remained silent on the proposed mine.
“If Senator Klobuchar wants to prove she’s serious about protecting the environment, she needs to fight the foreign special interests teaming up with the Trump administration to pollute Minnesota’s wilderness,” said Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig.
In particular, the report finds:
- Luksic’s Los Pelambres mine in Chile has been responsible for a number of employee deaths, has polluted drinking water, and has been fined millions of dollars by Chilean environmental regulators for the damage it has done to Chile’s cultural resources.
- Luksic has been able to protect his Los Pelambres mine through corruption and influence peddling. In Chile, Antofagasta has frequently been able to avoid consequences for its illegal behavior thanks to Luksic’s extensive political influence.
- Luksic has made a concerted effort to rub elbows with powerful decision makers since he started trying to mine in the Minnesota north country. Besides renting a home to Jared and Ivanka Trump, he reportedly met the President at a Patriots game in Boston.
- The proposed Twin Metals mine has been fought by outdoor recreationists: Boundary Waters and Voyageurs national parks are significant contributors to the outdoor recreation economy of northeastern Minnesota. The Twin Metals mining project appeared to be stalled until Donald Trump became President and his administration helped remove roadblocks for the project. Most recently, in December 2019, Twin Metals submitted its formal project proposal to state and federal regulators, including Trump’s Bureau of Land Management.
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