Dayton undecided about controversial copper-nickel mine

Gov. Mark Dayton remains “undecided” about a controversial proposed copper-nickel mine in northeast Minnesota.

While iron mining has provided good paying jobs in northeast Minnesota for decades, copper-nickel mining “leaves behind toxic wastes that must be contained,” Dayton wrote in a column published Wednesday in the Mesabi Daily News.

The draft environmental analysis of the PolyMet mining project, the first proposed copper-nickel development in the state, is set to be released Nov. 22. If the analysis is deemed adequate after at least a 45 day public comment period, the company can apply for permits to mine.

It’s possible to have both economic development and environmental protection, Dayton wrote. The governor said he’ll review the scientific analysis and public comments and is determined to make sure the state gets it right.