Arne Carlson was governor of Minnesota from 1991 to 1999. He continues to speak out on issues, especially those affecting Minnesota's environment. In a recent interview with Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Dennis Anderson, Carlson talked about his concern regarding the proposed PolyMet and Tamarac mines. In this interview, Carlson restates his long-held concerns about the ownership of these proposed mines and their past performance in other settings. The PolyMet copper mine would be located in the Boundary Waters watershed. The Tamarac mine in the headwaters of the Mississippi, and would be a source of nickel, cobalt and copper. This report on the Minnesota Legislature's website provides deeper information on these two projects.
Another mining project proposed in Minnesota is a manganese mine near Emily, Minnesota, in the heart of our northern Minnesota lakes region. This mine, North Star Manganese, would be an underground mine with a processing plant. Development of this mine has been controversial, and like the others, it has the possibility of serious impacts to water resources in the Upper Mississippi. An April 30 article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune outlines the troubled path this project has followed and the plans for its future.
The minerals that are proposed to be mined will be needed for powering electric vehicles in the future. These mines would provide domestic sources of these critical minerals. The need for balance in developing these resources is critical. This 2017 article in the New York Times provides background on the minerals and issues. We will continue to follow these projects and provide periodic updates on the LWV UMRR blog.
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