According to a report by Reuters, on Wednesday, the US Interior Department renewed two mineral leases near the Boundary Waters Wilderness area in Minnesota, a key to step to opening the popular wilderness and recreation area to copper mining despite opposition from local and national conservation groups. The department's Bureau of Land Management granted hardrock mineral leases inside the Superior National Forest to Twin Metals Minnesota, a subsidiary of Chile's Antofagasta, with the intention of expanding domestic mining of 'critical minerals' used in common appliances and products, claiming that it benefits national security as it reduces the need for foreign imports.

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