MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — One day after Gov. Mark Dayton dealt a serious blow to the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine, a federal agency has handed the company another setback.

A top Interior Department lawyer told the Bureau of Land Management Tuesday that Twin Metals Minnesota is not automatically entitled to renew two important minerals leases that have expired.

Twin Metals Minnesota wants to build a $2.8 billion underground mine near Ely. Environmentalists consider it a threat because it sits within a watershed that flows into Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Dayton cited that proximity when he barred access to state lands for the project.

Twin Metals officials declined Tuesday to comment on how significant a setback Dayton's decision is. They say they're reviewing both the new legal opinion and the governor's decision.