Twin Metals and labor leaders signed a formal agreement today in Ely to hire union workers to build the planned underground mine. Backers say mining and a clean environment for tourism can co-exist, and Chisholm Senator Dave Tomassoni contends benefits go beyond northern Minnesota. “If you want windmills, you gotta mine,” he says. “There’s 209 tons of steel in a windmill. There’s four to nine tons of copper in a windmill. That’s just one windmill.
But outfitting company owner Steve Piragis says building a mine on the edge of the Boundary Waters Wilderness is not the way to bring good jobs and a sustainable lifestyle to northern Minnesota.