As has been suggested in past posts, taking the longer-term view can be very profitable. Understanding current economic conditions and where they may be down the road is the key. Fortunately or not, the mining permitting process follows this same line of thinking. The process takes time and thought. From an investment perspective, one needs to decide which metals are going to be in need as the process of permitting finishes and product begins to flow out of the ground.

PolyMet Mining corp., a precious metals development stage mining operation located in north-eastern MN, is working to bring a copper-nickel-precious metal mining operation on-line. The company recently closed $10 million of $25 million in equity financing. The parent company of PolyMet, Glencore A.G., will institute the remaining offering beginning in January 2010.

Understanding the permit process is the real key to landing a solid development stage mineral mining investment. In this respect, one also needs to understand the physical/political environment where the proposed project is located. PolyMet Mining has taken up its proposed project in a region known for its mining but also known for strict environmental scrutiny. For the past three years, the company has addressed a wide array of issues and generated 14,000 pages of environmental information. For the most part, it seems that the company feels that it is in a good position for approval to move forward.

The Erie mining region produced substantial iron ore deposits in the past and has thus demonstrated its ability to move ore to market. Generally, this also demonstrates the productivity for certain metal ore in the region that may not have been identified during the regions iron production era. PolyMet Mining is currently a development stage company ramping through the permit process. As mining may actually begin in several years from now, the investment may be a longer term one. It may, however, be one that times just about right given current economic conditions.