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Northeast Minnesota doesn’t need copper sulfide mining to thrive

I grew up on the Iron Range (and I worked at Minntac one summer) and I live in Duluth. I’m strongly opposed to copper sulfide mining. We can create a thriving business climate without this. If the state of Minnesota invests in small business development (loans, grants, tax incentives) as much as it now invests in corporate mining operations (which have received land, permits, tax incentives), our future will be much brighter.

The northeast region of Minnesota has several streams, rivers and lakes. The water table is high. There are underground streams, bogs, and swamps. The idea of placing a copper sulfide operation in the midst of this seems insane. Now is the time to act wisely. Sulfide will contaminate the area — it will be inevitable. Mining operations (which operate for profit) do not have the public best interest at heart. In addition, northeast Minnesota is the location of a three-way continental divide. Mining operations have shifted this divide somewhat. Essentially, water flows in three directions: St. Lawrence River (Great Lakes), Mississippi River, and Hudson Bay. This means that contamination could occur across the continent. At this point in our country, there are very few regions with clean water. Northern Minnesota is one of them.

Please, let’s not assume that corporate mining profits are good for Minnesota. Let’s change the paradigm and work toward a healthy and thriving community of small businesses. We’ll be able to see our grandchildren enjoying the rich water resources (fishing, swimming, and boating) of our region. The BWCA will be protected.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bob MacNeal on 06/20/2019 - 08:48 am.

    Well stated.

    I was disappointed to find out that Senators Klobuchar and Smith recently introduced an amendment to the annual defense spending bill to expedite a land swap between the Feds and Toronto-based PolyMet (a prerequisite for the copper-nickel mine) removing a major obstacle to the operation of a mine.

    There’s no upside for Minnesotans! Jobs? Pfft. The only jobs at today’s automated mining operations are a handful of doughnut munchers guarding the perimeter.

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