Conservation Minnesota

Fall 2012: Not Your Grandfather’s Iron Mine

This summer marks the kick-off of Mining Truth, an initiative encouraging Minnesotans to learn more about sulfide mining.  Mining Truth is a coalition led by Conservation Minnesota, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA).  Our goal is to engage all Minnesotans in a respectful, open, fact-based dialogue about the issue.  We’re already off to a good start.  The effort has been covered by more than 50 news outlets.  Thousands of Minnesotans have already visited

Sulfide mining is brand new to Minnesota.  It produces metals like copper, nickel and gold, but its byproducts include sulfuric acid and toxic contaminants. Two sulfide mines are proposed in Minnesota’s lake country, one near Lake Superior and one near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  No sulfide mine in the world has been successfully operated and closed without polluting nearby waters.

The immediate need for jobs in Northern Minnesota is real, but evidence shows there is reason to be cautious about the effects on our lakes, rivers and groundwater.  Company documents state that polluted water at the mine site may require treatment for thousands of years.  Given the long-term implications of sulfide mining, permitting decisions will impact people throughout our state.  The best outcome will be achieved when all voices are heard.

Learn more about sulfide mining at

Read the rest of the Fall 2012 Newsletter articles.

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