Conservation Minnesota

The Truth About Sulfide Mining

Today, I’ve got a favor to ask of everyone who reads this. Would you make the commitment to take the Mining Truth Pledge? Would you take just two minutes to ask two friends to learn about sulfide mining in Minnesota?

I have to admit that I didn’t know much about sulfide mining until earlier this year when Frank Moe and his team of sled dogs made the trek from Grand Marais to St. Paul to deliver to the governor petitions with 13,000 signatures of Minnesotans who had joined the campaign against sulfide mining.

Recently, Conservation Minnesota along with the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy began a campaign to spread the word about proposed sulfide mining projects in Minnesota and the facts about sulfide mining. This Coalition has put together a very readable report that details  sulfide mining and these projects specifically.

Sulfide mining, a form of hard rock mining that doesn’t include iron ore, has never been done in Minnesota before. The purpose of sulfide mining is the extraction of a variety of metals, like copper, nickel or platinum. When air or water come into contact with the sulfide, sulfuric acid is formed (think car battery acid). It’s this acid that’s especially toxic and polluting.

Sulfide mining provides economic development, but at what cost? The potential devastation to our waters, wildlife and health, plus the clean up costs are far greater than any short-term economic gain. The costs to our communities and state could be great. The EPA has identified hard rock mining as the nation’s top toxic producing industry. Shouldn’t that alone tell us something?

So check out the website and read the report, visit the Facebook page (, take the pledge and share what you learn with other Minnesotans. If you want to do more, let your elected officials know where you stand or write a letter to the editor.

Sulfide mining is a gamble I’m not willing to take. I’ve got to believe that once all Minnesotans educate themselves on this issue they’ll agree.

About Kristin Eggerling

Kristin Eggerling
Kristin Eggerling is the mother of two and a freelance writer in northwestern Minnesota. She most recently worked in the public health field as the administrator for Quin Community Health Services which serves the counties of Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake and Roseau.
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Karen Backlund says:

I took the pledge and wrote to a friend who is ‘summering’ in NE MN. I also posted the link to my Facebook page. Thank you, Kristin, for this interesting article, and for the work you do. I’ve been reading bits and pieces about this topic and am very concerned.