ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A judge is considering a motion by federal agencies and an environmental group to dismiss a lawsuit by developers of the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine who are seeking to regain their mineral rights leases.

Twin Metals Minnesota sued after the Obama administration last year declined to renew the longstanding leases the company needs for the mine in northeastern Minnesota.

Attorneys for federal agencies and Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness urged U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson to dismiss the lawsuit. They said it's a contract dispute that under federal law must be brought in the Court of Federal Claims instead.

But a lawyer for Twin Metals framed the case as a property rights dispute that the district court has the jurisdiction to hear.

Nelson didn't say when she'll rule.

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