PolyMet: Debate over copper mining in Minnesota

  • PolyMet Mining Corp., which promises a $650 million investment and 300 to 360 jobs over 20 years, is only the first of many companies lining up to tap one of the world’s largest untouched deposits of copper, nickel in northeast Minnesota. Many on both sides of the issue say the current debate will influence how and whether copper mining in the state becomes a reality.

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FILE - In this undated aerial file photo, the LTV Steel Mining Company...

An old taconite mine in Hoyt Lake will be brought back to life when Po...

The copper mine near Ladysmith, Wis., operated from 1933-1997. Minnesota lawmakers must decide whether to allow such a mine.

The third public hearing on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for PolyMet's proposed NorthMet mine took place Tuesday night, January 28, 2013 at RiverCentre in St. Paul. Several in the crowd stood to applaud comments in opposition to the mine by Cecelia Newton of Minneapolis.

Arik Forsman of Duluth, whose family has worked in Iron Range mines for three generations, attended last week’s meeting.

About 1,500 people jammed a meeting room at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Thursday night, Jan. 16, 2013 for the first public hearing about Polymet Mining's proposed open pit mine near Babbitt.

FILE - In this undated aerial file photo, the LTV Steel Mining Company which shut its doors Jan. 3, 2001, is shown near Hoyt Lakes, Minn. The PolyMet Mining Corp. will use the facility for its copper-nickel processing plant. The planned open-pit copper-nickel mine will be near Babbitt, Minn.

Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. The Minnesota Department of Natural R...

Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. The Minnesota Department of Natural R...

David Hughes of PolyMet walked through a closed plant back in 2011 that his company now wants to resurrect so it can process copper. The old taconite plant would be brought back to life when, and if, PolyMet gets a state permit to drill for copper and nickel.

David Hughes of PolyMet walked through a closed plant back in 2011 that his company now wants to resurrect so it can process copper. The old taconite plant would be brought back to life when, and if, PolyMet gets a state permit to drill for copper and nickel.

  • Mining controversial near the BWCA

    Article By: BRIAN PETERSON , Brian Peterson Publish / Update December 6, 2013 9:17 AM

    About a dozen companies are exploring for copper, nickel, and gold in a vast geological formation below northeast Minnesota that some say could generate billions in revenue and thousands of jobs. The promise of a mining boom and its threat to the most beautiful corner of the state has bitterly divided the town of Ely. In Ely, all eyes are on PolyMet, which this summer will be the first company to reveal its plans for how it will mine 6,700 acres near Hoyt Lakes without polluting the water with acid mine drainage. Because next up is Twin Metals, which hopes build a vast underground mine on the banks of the Kawishiwi River outside of Ely.

David Hughes held a little pinch of tailings from the old taconite min...

Governor Mark Dayton spoke to the media after delivering the keynote s...

Rebecca Rom spoke to a packed house May 30 during the grand opening of Sustainable Ely educational center opposed to mining.

PolyMet Mining’s ore concentrator in Hoyt Lakes, Minn.

Jon Cherry, new CEO of PolyMet

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