IRON RANGE — PolyMet Mining announced Monday that it hired Richard Lock as its new senior vice president and project director for the proposed NorthMet copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes.

Lock was most recently the construction director for the KAZ Mineral Peschanka open pit copper mine in Russia. He was also the executive director and project manager for the Hermosa lead-zinc-silver mine owned by Arizona Mining Inc.

“To secure the caliber of person with Mr. Lock’s experience, leadership and technical talents — where he has led some of the largest mining projects in the world — speaks to the NorthMet Project’s appeal as a fully-permitted project within the world-class Duluth Complex, and the project’s tremendous potential as Minnesota’s first copper-nickel-precious metals mine,” said Jon Cherry, president and CEO of PolyMet, in an emailed statement. “We are very excited to have Richard on board and to further strengthen our leadership team.”

Among his other roles, Lock has led projects with mining giant Rio Tinto in the U.S. and Canada, and worked in oilsands mining in Alberta, Canada.

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