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ole

PolyMet Mining Corp Proposal

23 posts in this topic

Anyone read in the Oct 19 Sunday edition of the Star Trib North Metro about this? What I read sounded pretty bad for the environment up there. A $600 million dollar construction project on the site of a bankrupt taconite mine in Hoyt Lakes is proposed. The good... It's said to bring in more than $80 million in annual tax revenue and 400 jobs to the area. Environmentalists are urging the state to reject non-ferrous mining in the region because of the backlash it can cause. The bad...They (environmentalists) say metallic sulfide ore of the type PolyMet and other companies hope to mine has a notorious history. When it's exposed to air and water, it leaches sulfuric acid and toxic metals into nearby watersheds, poisoning wildlife. The article goes on to state that the affected watershed would be the St Louis river and the BWCA areas. PolyMet claims to have new technology to prevent this sort of thing from happenning but we've all heard that before. Amy Klobuchar and jim Oberstar support it. You may want to read the entire article as there is a lot of good info you should know about. Sounds Like controversy to me!

ole

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May I suggest reading more than just the newspaper on this. The articles are mis-leading and missing a lot of important information.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the State DNR (minerals) are lead agancies for the proposal if you would like more information.

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Yes the newspaper is where I got my info. But I would doubt this would be good for any environment. They can do whatever they want up there, when it's all destroyed we can all bow our heads in ignorance. Just my .2 worth. Why is this banned in Wisconsin? maybe they know something we don't want to know. vWhen money is invoved people will usually say what you need to hear including the DNR. Do an internet search for Metallic Sulfide Ore mining and read all you want and then judge for yourself.

ole

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I would hope that our DNR would not let money influence the decision if it would really be that bad for those watershed enviroments...they should have some good heads working on the issue so hopefully they make the right decision for all involved

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Quote:
. But I would doubt this would be good for any environment.

All mining and or Heavy manufacturing have negative impacts on the environment. Just going and getting a load of rocks from a lake or river for a rock garden has a negative impact on the environment. It is all a matter of if is within acceptable limits.

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Me not knowing diddly on the subject, I did a quick search.

What I found is sort of what I was expecting, blogs from environmentally groups.

No doubt mining has changed the face of the Iron range. The environment took a backseat in the past but that was then, this is now. Its mining and the landscape is going to be altered. Environmental mistake in the past we've learned from I would hope. With all the watch dogs and hoops to jump through now the chances of making those mistakes again are reduced.

What I concluded is, unless I do a whole lot more research on the subject, I'll take the side of our DNR and not be swayed by these environmentally groups. This take is influenced by the actions in the past on other topics where you have an environmental group pushing to get their way using an uninformed public. So in essence, I'm not qualified to make any judgment on the matter.

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ST-

Thank you for an educated response. There are a lot of people and a lot of science involved in this (on both sides). I'm not going to offer an opinion, but like I stated earlier, I suggest if anyone is interested, get educated from more than just the papers. Talk to those involve (Army Corps, DNR, MPCA, EPA, Forest Serice, environmental groups) and form your own opinion.

ERW

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I agree with ewirz. Having been in newspapers a long time, I can say that all they do on complicated issues is take all the data they can find (or have time to find) and sift through it and interpret it and simplify it to a level they think their readers want. And they tend to place too much emphasis on what experts say about the issue, with not enough of what the in-depth primary sources (like dry scientific reports and assessments) have to offer.

Ideally, a newsie soaks in all the primary sources and then interviews the experts to clarify the unclear or to amplify, but in the busy newsroom what often happens is the reporter just skims the primary stuff and relies on interviews for the meat of the news report.

If you trust the reporter/media outlet to do that for you accurately, then you're good to go, although nuance is almost always lost with this approach. But if you want to see it all and make your own assessment, then the primary sources are the best. When I compare what a media outlet reports on issues I know a lot about to what the primary sources have to offer, I often walk away shaking my head at the shallowness of the reporting. Not to mention I often come to a different conclusion than the news report.

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Rest assured the DNR is doing their due diligence on this one. They have been working on the EIS for years. The DNR will be very thorough and they are unbiased even to political agenda. However, time will tell on this one; but, from everything that I have seen, the positives of this proposed mine outweigh the unlikely, potential negatives. I'm a little more concerned about the fast tracking on the MN Steel project than this one.

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Good call sinker.

I don't think $$$ would sway the DNR to compromise everything they stand for. I'm all for this project, as the Co. I work for is directly tied to the mining industry and would like to see a resurgence on the Iron Range. When LTV closed down that was a HUGE hit on many businesses that serve the mining industry and their infrastructure, not just the employees of LTV. The Co. I work for saw approx. $500,000 in business disappear. But I in no way would want to see a compromise on our environment for the sole purpose of financial gains for anyone.

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I know nothing about this.However if you took a look at Colorado mining and the seepage from those mines,and the fact there is NO life in streams for considerable distances of the entry points.The impact for the environment is huge.

I dont know what they will be extracting,and can only see streams in Colo.that are dead.I'm not a extremest,but I'd be deeply concerned.

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Yeah, I guess I shouldn't read the paper for my info. They certainly do word things their way. The business would be a great benefit to the area (which is struggling right now) so that would definitly be a plus. Yet something still tells me to be wary of this. It would be completely devasting to the region if 10-20 yrs down the road you end up with a disaster that could have been avoided. Did the DNR or Corps make any info public on this project?

ole

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It doesnt matter what type of mining it is it will surely have some negative effect on our envirenment, water and those who work theres health. Yes things will be hidden and pushed to the side for the sake of $ and jobs. Lets not kid ourselves here. As far as politicians go, they support whatever will get them votes and bring $ to them and their people. Even if it will hurt their people in the long run. Minings history is full of this type of behavior. Mesothelioma is just the latest of many health risks the guys working the mines and steel plants of the day encountered.

Im glad some mines are starting to pop up again because the range and surounding areas need some jobs and something to stimulate the economy. I just hope its not at the cost of hurting our lands and people who work there.

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Quote:
Did the DNR or Corps make any info public on this project?

The EIS(Environmental Impact Statement) is not out yet. It will be public information when it is released. It will then have a public comment period, I believe 90 days. After that and with the blessing of the DNR, permitting will begin. It sounds like the EIS may be out the end of the year, but it has been pushed back many, many times already. It seems the DNR keeps requesting more information which like I said early, hammers home the fact the DNR is fully reviewing all impacts.

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The enviros are beginning to turn up the opposition to mining in anticipation of the Democrats gaining the presidency, control of the house, and senate.

With a party friendly to their concerns, they'll go for the jugular on any mines (or logging) in northern Minnesota, and try to stop them in their tracks.

Don't mean to bring up politics, but have seen this many times over the years. It starts by bringing attention of any objectionable projects to the press. mad

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While many Republicans would prefer little or no government, this is a great example of why government is needed. It is my hope the Democrats don't go over the regulation edge into nothingness, and I'll support a plan that mitigates environmental impacts to near zero.

There is one bad thing about the DNR noone mentioned. The Commissioner is an appointed position. The actions taken by the DNR follow the executive of the state government, in this case Tim Pawlenty, which can follow a mining lobby. The bias towards business should be clear on the one hand. On the other hand, even Holsten can't subjugate an EIS and the subordinates in the DNR can still be pretty tough at making sure the environmental impacts are mitigated.

I'd tend to support the DNR, albeit I'm not a fan of the appointment process in Minnesota.

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two things to consider when looking at this type of minning. MN vs Colorado. Fairly flat land compared to mountains and foot hills. History of minning having free reign. So basicaly it is honey crisp apples to granny smith apples.

Secondly technology and oversite has improved in so many areas of manufacturing and minning in recent years. These operations will be watched very closely by the enviros, which they should.

I do support it only because I so dislke the NIMBY attitude. We need the stuff and it comes at a cost. plus growing up on and enjoying da range I want to see a decent economy up there not depending on tourism.

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I do support it only because I so dislke the NIMBY attitude. We need the stuff and it comes at a cost.

That is a good point PB. The types of metals they are looking at mining for are used in computers, cell phones, the sensors that deploy air bags, catalytic converters, etc. There is a demand for these metals. If you consume the types of goods that utilize these materials but are against the means by which they are generated it is a bit hypocritical.

They will get the metals where ever the metals exist. Other countries have less environmental controls. If the material isn't mined here, it will be mined there and at a much greater cost to the environment. A lot of the people involved in these mines are from the area some have been here their entire life and they definitely don't want to see the environment trashed.

There is a lot more going on than just Polymet. There is also Mesaba Nuget near Aurora/Hoyt Lakes and the new steel plant going in at Keewatin, Minnesota Steel

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Interesting read. Having been to the range area several times recently, I have a new found interest in the area.

During one of my trips to the area, I over-heard a conversation where 2 people were blaming the BWCA for the demise of the iron range.

I shook my head in disbelief and went about my business. I would support new mining initiatives as long as they are done with the highest consideration of the environmental impacts.

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...I over-heard a conversation where 2 people were blaming the BWCA for the demise of the iron range...

There are still some hard feelings in the area about the way the BWCAW was formed. If you haven't read Troubled Waters it may be a pretty interesting read for you. It seems odd to me, though, that anyone would blame the demise of the iron range on it. The B'dub is a unique resource and unfortunately some can't see the value in having an area of land set aside for wilderness.

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The Polymet mine is being designed so that all rain water that hits the entire sight is funneled into ponds the size of landfills. These ponds are lined ect. From there they can treat the water.

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