Division of Economics and Business Professor Graham Davis, who specializes in mineral asset valuation and economic development of mineral-based economies, contributed to the Minnesota Public Radio story, “Environmental lawsuits pile up as PolyMet mine crawls forward.”
From the story:
Still, litigation can mean delays. Especially lawsuits expected later in the process, when the state Department of Natural Resources makes its decision whether to grant PolyMet a permit to mine.
"Delays are never good," said Graham Davis, a professor of mineral economics at the Colorado School of Mines.
He said PolyMet has accepted debt from equity owners to fund the advancement of the project. "It's never good to go back to these folks and say any kind of cash flow from the operations of the project is going to be delayed for a year or two or three. That's never positive news."
Still, Davis said the rich copper ore asset in the ground that PolyMet controls isn't going anywhere.
The cost of mining could go up in those years, which would be bad for PolyMet, Davis added. But metals prices could also go up, which means a delay could work to PolyMet's advantage.