A Solid Example of Mining Without Harm
MiningMinnesota: A Solid Example of Mining Without Harm
Though discovered more than 50 years ago, Minnesota’s vast resources of copper-nickel and platinum group metals associated with the Duluth Complex are among the largest undeveloped base metal resource in the world – have lain idle largely because the technology to process these ores economically and in an environmentally acceptable manner had not been developed.
The evolution of new, cleaner metallurgical processes in the last decade, plus strong market demand for the products, now make these developments possible.
Mining 21st Century-style
Ironically, for all its rich iron mining history and critical and strategic mineral potential, Minnesota is ranked by the industry as one of the most difficult places for mining development, due largely to our lengthy and expensive permitting process and exacting environmental standards.
Development and exploration activity of the critical and strategic mineral sector has the potential to build a new, vibrant industry in both northern Minnesota and elsewhere in the state. Best mining practices will be deployed for operations in Minnesota, using the cleanest processing technology in the world.
Today’s mining process is environmentally responsible, precise and thoughtful, with an eye toward preserving environmental quality for generations to come. Potential elements of a responsible mining process include avoiding impacts where possible, using state-of-the-art GPS technology to control mine operations, and redevelopment of brownfields (land that may have been polluted in the past) rather than development of greenfields (areas heretofore untouched). Mining without harm is the only way to build a sustainable, responsible minerals exploration industry in northern Minnesota.
The platinum group metals ultimately produced by the mining industry are essential for the manufacture of catalysts used in environmental protection equipment such as vehicle emissions controls; as well as for use in the development of fuel cell-, hydrogen-powered vehicles. The PGMs palladium, platinum and rhodium are used for this purpose.
With climate change and air quality shaping up as important determinants of what our world will be like in the future, the demand for – and, as a result, the development of – products such as catalytic converters and other environment-preserving tools should only increase.