Twin Pines Minerals is planning to mine within the Okefenokee Refuge.

No activities associated with this project will be conducted in the refuge or anywhere close. The nearest point of the proposed mining area is located 2.9 miles southeast of the nearest Okefenokee Refuge boundary and even farther from the nearest waters of the swamp.

Trail Ridge acts as a natural dam for the Okefenokee Swamp.

Trail Ridge is not a dam for the Okefenokee. It is a hydraulic barrier to groundwater flow. As groundwater is influenced by topography, it will continue to flow to both the east and west of the ridge.

Twin Pines Minerals is planning to mine 12,000 acres of property.

Twin Pines Minerals originally evaluated 12,000 acres to understand the environment and evaluate potential impacts of mining. The actual area for which permits are sought is 582 acres – ONLY. There is no accommodation in the application to expand the permit area.

Twin Pines Minerals will dewater the wetlands during the life of the project, with no plans to restore it to its native state.

There are no jurisdictional wetlands on the property. As part of the restoration plan, Twin Pines Minerals will grade the project area to pre-mined surface contours, fully restoring that area with topsoil, native species seeds and seedlings.

The hydrology of the Okefenokee will be impacted and the swamp will be drained.

Mining activities will not impact the Okefenokee Swamp. The maximum mining depth will be 50 feet in the Trail Ridge permit footprint and no mining activities will be conducted below the highest water levels of the Okefenokee. For the swamp to be “drained,” water would have to defy gravity and flow uphill.

Pollutants from mining operations will drain into and severely damage the Okefenokee Swamp and St. Mary’s River.

Twin Pines Minerals is required by federal regulation to maintain strict stormwater controls and adhere to best management practices. These plans will assist in protecting the Okefenokee Swamp and the St. Mary’s River. Further, the project footprint is not located within the flood plain of the river or any of its tributaries and is more than five miles distant from the St. Mary’s.

Mining operations will pollute the surficial aquifer.

No pollutants will be discharged to the surficial aquifer before, during or after mining operations.

The impact of mining will permanently lower the groundwater levels within the surficial aquifer.

The surficial aquifer will be temporarily impacted in the immediate vicinity of the mine excavation. Once the area is backfilled, the groundwater level will return to its previous level.

Surface water and drainage patterns will be impacted by mining operations.

Surface water and drainage patterns will be temporarily impacted during excavation of a particular mine. However, as part of the restoration plan, all areas will be graded to recreate pre-mining surface water and drainage conditions.

Mining operations will leave deep open pits.

The active mining area will be no more than 1.5 to 2.5 acres at any given time and excavation will only advance 100 feet per day using electric – not fossil fuel – powered equipment. The mining pit, as it advances, will be simultaneously refilled with the same sands and soils excavated from the site and graded to pre-mining contours to be planted with native species.

Mining operations will impact threatened and endangered species.

Twin Pines Minerals enlisted the services of nationally renowned herpetologists and botanists with expertise in threatened and endangered species who conducted extensive surveys of the area. There are no threatened or endangered species in the mining footprint.

Titanium is only used as a whitening pigment in paint and toothpaste.

Titanium has been designated by both the Trump and Biden Administrations as a mineral of national security importance. It is used in defense systems, aircraft, weapons, spacecraft, prosthetics, operating room equipment, automobiles, high-tech electronics and literally hundreds of other applications including, yes, highly durable paints and coatings.

Twin Pines proposes a mining project that is similar to a proposal by DuPont in the 1990s.

There is nothing similar about it. DuPont proposed to use different technology, had a huge footprint that, at 38,000 acres, was many times the size of the 582 acres for which Twin Pines seeks permits and there were no extensive studies to ensure safety.

Twin Pines doesn’t care about protecting the environment.

From a business perspective, anything less than complete success in following EPD regulations for protection of the swamp, area waterways and the environment could subject Twin Pines to enforcement actions and even shut down of the project. Common sense should tell anyone that the company would not put the hundreds of millions of dollars it is investing at risk by failing to comply with environmental regulations.