PolyMet Mining wants to mine copper, nickel and precious metals for 20 years at a site located just north of Hoyt Lakes in the Superior National Forest. The NorthMet Deposit is part of what is known as the Duluth Complex, which stretches from about 150 miles north of Duluth all the way to the Canadian border.
PolyMet’s proposal has kicked off a public comment period that could help decide if the mine is built and if so, what it looks like. Mining supporters hope the journey will end with hundreds of jobs for a needy region and a spot for Minnesota on a global stage where copper is an essential part of economic progress.
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The environmental impact statement on PolyMet Mining’s plans assumes water would be treated for 200 years at the mine site and 500 years at the plant site. But Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials, who prepared the document along with several federal agencies and tribal groups, said it isn’t known how long treatment could be needed.
For years, PolyMet has tried to demonstrate its plan would avoid scenarios that infuriate environmentalists. Could copper-nickel mining give the area a black eye? And if a mine does pollute, will someone other than taxpayers pay to clean it up?
Read more on the proposed mine from MPR News.
Today’s Question: Do you support the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine?