Twin Metals, which sued the federal government in response to the 2016 ban, welcomed the USDA announcement. The company is now free to apply for two types of leases: prospecting permits and preference rights leases. Using its existing prospecting permits and securing more will allow Twin Metals to resume drilling and taking core samples. Next it will move to turn those permits into preference rights leases, which would secure control over the minerals and public land it's occupying until the lease (typically 20 years) concludes. Finally, Twin Metals will establish a mine plan and submit it for federal agencies to review. The outcome of that decision will determine whether the mine will proceed. In the meantime, conservation groups will continue to advocate on behalf of the BWCA Wilderness by challenging each lease in court.