Rallies tonight (630pm) in Duluth and tomorrow (Tues 630pm) in Hibbing to push for expanded mining of copper, nickel, platinum and titanium in northern Minnesota. John Hinderaker with the Center of the American Experiment says it can be done “in an environmentally friendly way. We don’t have to choose between the environment and the economy. We can have both.” But Aaron Klemz with Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy warns it’s high-risk to store liquid mine waste behind an earthen dam. “We have new technologies where we could store those mine waste tailings is a dry format, where they wouldn’t risk spilling out and having the dam break,” he says.
Hinderaker says other states and provinces, with a fraction of what Minnesota has, are developing their mineral resources, “And here we are, sitting on some of the most valuable undeveloped mineral resources anywhere in the world, and very little is happening.” He says expanded mining can add 3.7 billion dollars a year to Minnesota’s economy and create 85-hundred jobs. But Klemz contends those numbers aren’t realistic. “The grades for those deposits are really low… and at that low grade, it’s not been economically feasible to mine them,” he says.
More in this interview with Hinderaker: