epalcich

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When the levee breaks: Hector vs. Polymet

epalcich

We don't need some paltry promises of financial assurance. We need to say no to sulfide mining in northeast Minnesota. All of the 6 taconite tailings basins will need perpetual monitoring for dam safety, and clean-up of leaching sulfates and other pollutants. Copper-nickel sulfide mining would be much worse, due to the leaching of toxic heavy metals, Acid Mine Drainage, and sulfates. In addition, while taconite contains 25% iron and 75% waste rock materials, sulfide ores consist of less than 1% metals, with 99% waste rock. Minnesota's spectacular forests, waters, and wetlands would be replaced by spectacular waste rock piles, pits, and tailings basins. In the open expanses of the western U.S., such cavernous mine operations might not seem as significant--even though they all leave behind a toxic trail. But in northeast Minnesota, we don't have that expanse of open, dry land. The sulfide deposits are located between Lake Superior, Lake Vermilion, and the Boundary Waters. What could we possibly be thinking?