The media coverage of a planned underground copper-nickel mine on the Iron Range has been very positive and so far has the support of key state and federal legislators. The project has not cleared all the hurdles-especially the EPA. Feasibility studies will continue for several years, though financing seems assured once the hurdles are cleared. The mining company is a joint venture called “Twin Metals Minnesota” between Chilean owned Antofagasta (best said after a good glass of red Chilean wine) and a Canadian firm called Duluth Metals (beer will do here). The feasibility studies alone will provide good jobs to an estimated 300 people, too many of whom are probably environmental lawyers but job are jobs. Owners predict 5,ooo construction jobs over an initial 3-year period and 3,000 permanent jobs with a total investment of $2 billion. This is sweet, welcome news for our neighbors on the Range. The site is loaded with metals needed for electronics, batteries and even wind turbines and solar panels–that should put a sock in anyone’s mouth who wants to oppose this because it is near the BWCA. We wish the project God’s speed and hope it only hits reasonable regulatory bumps (is this possible at Lisa Jackson’s EPA?) that actually protect the environment. If Senators Klobuchar and Frankin want to earn their pay, they’ll run interference for this mine and get it going ASAP.
The development was covered on Mine Web:http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page66?oid=109166&sn=Detail And here is the Neal St.Anthony’s article in the Strib :http://www.startribune.com/business/99903829.html