State officials will review a proposed taconite mine expansion in northeast Minnesota for reasons typically associated with copper nickel mines.
Northshore Mining wants to expand its Peter Mitchell Mine south of Babbitt, Minn. Environmental groups, arguing the expansion could cause acid mine drainage, petitioned the Department of Natural Resources for an environmental assessment.
"It's the same problem that we're facing with the copper nickel mines, and the same potential for water quality impacts," said Jane Reyer with Duluth-based Save our Sky Blue Waters. "I just think we need to look at it regardless of what type of mine it's coming from."
After the petition was filed, Northshore Mining asked the DNR for an environmental review. The company has a conservative plan to expand the mine, said Sandy Karnowsky, spokeswoman for Northshore Mining owner Cliffs Natural Resources.
The Peter Mitchell Mine is located about one mile from the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine site.