Swiss-based Glencore takes controlling stake in PolyMet mine

FILE - This Feb. 10, 2016, file photo, shows a former iron ore processing plant near Hoyt Lakes, Minn., that would become part of a proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine. Environmental Protection Agency documents show that its staffers were critical of how Minnesota regulators drafted a key permit for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine. And they show the EPA officials concluded the permit would violate federal law because it lacked specific water pollution limits. The EPA released the documents after a court challenge by WaterLegacy. Environmental attorney Paula Maccabee says the EPA's concerns weren't reflected in PolyMet's final water pollution permit. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
In this Wednesday, May 29, 2019 photo, core samples show the mineral deposits sought after by miners at the site of the Polymet copper-nickel mine in Hoyt Lakes, Minn. The developers of the proposed mine in northern Minnesota are courting bankers for nearly $1 billion to move ahead with the project, even as opponents hold out hope of blocking the operation due to fears of water pollution. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)
In this Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Eric Olson, right, gathers his tools as contractor Robert Radotich uses a backhoe to dig areas so the soil stratification can be observed which will help them engineer and design the infiltration pods for the Polymet copper-nickel mine in Hoyt Lakes, Minn. The developers of the proposed mine in northern Minnesota are courting bankers for nearly $1 billion to move ahead with the project, even as opponents hold out hope of blocking the operation due to fears of water pollution. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)
In this Wednesday, May 29, 2019 photo, Jon Cherry, left, President, CEO and Director at Polymet, Bruce Richardson, Vice President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs, and LaTisha Gietzen, center, Vice-President of Public, Government, and Environmental Affairs, tour the site of the Polymet copper-nickel mine to discuss what's next now that the controversial project has it's major environmental permits in Hoyt Lakes, Minn. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Swiss-based global commodities giant Glencore AG says it's taking a 72% stake in PolyMet Mining, gaining majority control over what's slated to become Minnesota's first copper-nickel mine.

PolyMet announced Thursday that Glencore's stake will rise from 29 percent after the completion of a stock offering to shareholders that cleared its balance sheet of debt. Glencore has long been the largest investor in the planned open-pit mine near Babbitt in northeastern Minnesota.

PolyMet is formally based in Toronto but is run from St. Paul with operational headquarters at the processing plant site near Hoyt Lakes. The company received the last federal permit it needed in March, after securing its state permits last year, and is now raising close to $1 billion in construction financing.

Environmental groups are challenging the project in court.

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