As the saying goes, "slow and steady wins the race," and that's just what the cards look like for Minnesota-focused PolyMet Mining (TSX:POM), which is currently in the permitting phase for its NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals project. PolyMet is developing the NorthMet deposit in Northeastern Minnesota. NorthMet is one of several ore bodies in the Duluth Complex, a 30-mile-long geological formation that hosts one of the largest undeveloped copper-nickel-precious metals resources in the world. Located adjacent to the Mesabi Iron Range — a region with a well-developed history of over 100 years of iron mining — the Duluth Complex has only recently become the focus of mineral exploration and development efforts. PolyMet's CEO, Jon Cherry, explained to Copper Investing News (CIN) that up until now, no other company has been in a position to design and permit a mining venture to take advantage of the Duluth Complex. According to Cherry, the mineral wealth found in the Duluth Complex has been known for several decades. But until recently, the polymetallic nature of the ore bodies made it difficult for companies to economically separate the various metals (copper, nickel, gold, platinum, palladium, cobalt and silver). However, "in the past 10 years," Cherry explained, "the technology [to separate the ores] has advanced to a point where it can be done economically." And that's exactly what PolyMet is looking to do. The PolyMet advantage PolyMet is using its location to its benefit. With roughly 125 years of iron mining history and nearly 10 different iron ore mining operations and facilities along the Iron Range, PolyMet purchased an ore-processing facility called the Erie Mill out of bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar in 2005. The 100,000-ton-per-day mill, idle since 2001, is conveniently located 6 miles west of the NorthMet ore body.