Mining Companies Ramping Up Efforts in Anticipation of Mining

New mining near Ely, MN and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is still years down the road. But mining companies are drilling core samples and testing new forms of pollution control technology in anticipation of its beginning.

Exploring for metals near Ely, MN. Image courtesy MPR.org http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/10/09/business/estimates-grow-mining-potential/

Core Samples
Twin Metals, which plans a mine south of the Boundary Waters, has been drilling core samples to determine where the richest concentrations of metals are and where to start drilling when the time comes. According to an article on MPR news, in the past the company has estimated the presence of $100 billion worth of copper, nickel and other precious minerals in the area.

But that number is expected to be revised later this month, both Twin Metals and PolyMet (the company proposing an open-pit mine near Babbitt, MN and a processing center north of Hoyt Lakes) are reporting growth in their estimates of underground minerals and their value.

Pollution Control Technologies
Yesterday, PolyMet announced that it had successfully tested a new reverse osmosis method for removing sulfur from water. According to an article in the Duluth News Tribune, “The sulfate issue has emerged as a leading environmental concern for not just the proposed PolyMet copper mine and processing plant near Hoyt Lakes, what would be the state’s first copper-mining operation, but also Minnesota’s long-established taconite industry.”

Company officials say the new technology is critical if it is going to convince state and local officials that a resurgence of the mining industry will not compromise northern Minnesota’s lakes and streams. Read the full article HERE.

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