Environmental study on proposed metals mine now available

LTV taconite mine
PolyMet Mining wants to convert this closed taconite facility to a copper-nickel mine. Minnesota has no experience with this type of mining, but other such mines around the world have caused serious damage to water systems.
Photo Courtesy of PolyMet Mining

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has posted a study on its Web site that examines the potential environmental effects of a proposed metals mine in northeastern Minnesota.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement still has to be published by the Environmental Quality Board, but DNR officials have made the study available because of the high level of interest in the project.

PolyMet Mining Inc. plans to develop an open pit mine near Hoyt Lakes. The company wants to refurbish and modify an old LTV taconite mine in order to extract copper, nickel, cobalt and precious metals.

Members of the public will get a chance to comment on the environmental study, which must be approved before the mine is developed.

The comment period will begin Nov. 2, and officials will then announce dates and locations for several public meetings.

Environmentalists have already expressed concerns about the proposed mine, because sulfuric acid created by the extraction process has the potential to run off into streams and wetlands.

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