With climate change impacts growing more pronounced and a fast-growing global population, it’s clear that alternative renewable sources of energy are essential. The Biden Administration’s plans to revitalize American manufacturing have driven home the need for new green energy infrastructure. Getting there requires an increase in safe, responsible domestic copper mining, nickel mining, cobalt mining, and precious metals mining. We’ll need tremendous amounts of copper, nickel, cobalt, precious metals and more to build more wind turbines, solar arrays and electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
In the state of Minnesota, Governor Walz has redoubled efforts to meet the Next Generation Energy Act bipartisan goals of a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and established a Climate Change Subcabinet. Minnesota has also established an aggressive goal of achieving 100% clean energy by 2040. It all begins with the minerals – and Minnesota can deliver. Our state is home to several nonferrous mining projects at various stages of the permitting process, each of which has an important role to play in creating a greener and more sustainable future.
THE FUTURE OF NICKEL MINING • THE FUTURE OF COBALT MINING • THE FUTURE OF PRECIOUS METALS MINING • THE FUTURE OF COPPER MINING •THE FUTURE OF NICKEL MINING • THE FUTURE OF COBALT MINING • THE FUTURE OF PRECIOUS METALS MINING • THE FUTURE OF COPPER MINING •THE FUTURE OF NICKEL MINING • THE FUTURE OF COBALT MINING • THE FUTURE OF PRECIOUS METALS MINING • THE FUTURE OF COPPER MINING •
The NorthMet Project will be the first commercially-mined copper, nickel and precious metals in the Duluth Complex. NewRange Copper Nickel will explore the NorthMet deposit and will be mined by open-pit methods.
After 15+ years of environmental testing and review, the NorthMet project has been awarded all state and federal permits, including a Permit to Mine, air and water permits, and a federal wetlands permit. The company has fielded numerous unnecessary lawsuits instigated by project opponents attempting to delay the project indefinitely. In every case, the project team’s commitment to the process and reliance on science and fact have prevailed.
MiningMinnesota stands with NewRange and trusts the company to operate safely and responsibly, in accordance with it’s permits. The project has the potential to generate 1.16 billion pounds of copper, 170 million pounds of nickel, 6.2 million pounds of cobalt and 1.56 million ounces of precious metals like palladium, platinum and gold. Additionally, the project’s water treatment plans include addressing legacy mining issues resulting cleaner water with less mercury and sulfate than today–a net benefit for everything downstream.
Twin Metals Minnesota will explore underground mining in the Duluth Complex’s Maturi Deposit. The project is located in a designated area within the Superior National Forest, and the company has made commitments to mining responsibly by maintaining a small surface footprint, dry, non-acid generating tailings storage, advanced water management, carbon sequestration, and plans to reclaim the area with native vegetation after project closure.
Twin Metals has also made significant investments in the electrification of its mining and support vehicle fleets. Using electric vehicles during mine production will allow Twin Metals to reduce onsite greenhouse gas emissions by 65% – this is the very definition of responsible mining, and we’re proud that this innovative work is fueling the next generation of mining in Minnesota.
MiningMinnesota supports Twin Metals’ efforts to revitalize the region and support renewable energy infrastructure growth with an innovative approach to underground mining. Twin Metals’ 10+ years of research and study has revealed a specific, narrow band of mineral resources that Twin Metals plans to extract surgically, minimizing environmental impacts and pushing the industry toward more strategic and sustainable mining methods.
Talon Metals Corporation’s Tamarack Project is a proposed nickel-copper-cobalt project. As the Eagle Mine operation in Michigan approaches end-of-life and demand for nickel in EV batteries continues to increase, securing a domestic source of nickel is essential.
Talon has been exploring the Tamarack Intrusive Complex in an effort to meet growing demand for domestically-produced nickel. Located in central Minnesota and with access to major intercontinental rail networks, Talon Metals’ operation is ideally situated to strengthen domestic supply chains, keeping EV battery production within the United States from start to finish.
In July 2021, Talon entered into an MOU with the United Steelworkers, and in January 2022, Talon signed an agreement to supply Tesla with 75,000 metric tonnes (165 million lbs.) of responsibly produced nickel-in-concentrate in 2026-2032.
MiningMinnesota looks forward to advocating for Talon and the Tamarack Project as the company proceeds through the environmental review process.
NewRange Copper Nickel’s Mesaba Project is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-nickel-platinum group metal deposits with important platinum-palladium, cobalt, silver and gold credits with the potential for multi-generational production. It is located in St Louis County, Minnesota, approximately five miles south of the town of Babbitt. NewRange continues to invest in studies for the project’s environmental and social baseline studies and complete expanded hydrologic and hydrogeological studies in addition to improving orebody knowledge and project development engineering options.
In addition to Mesaba Project-specific investments, significant additional investment has been made in testing NewRange’s proprietary CESL mineral processing technology that could produce, in Minnesota, high value copper, nickel, cobalt and platinum group metal products from Mesaba copper and nickel concentrates.
Pulsar Helium’s Topaz Project located near Babbitt, MN is one of the world’s highest-content helium occurrences, having been drilled and flowed 10.5% helium. Originally discovered in 2011 during a global hunt for gas, drillers were originally looking for platinum and palladium. Helium has become an essential ingredient for space exploration, semiconductor chip manufacturing, and medical magnetic resonance imagery (MRI).
MiningMinnesota looks forward to supporting Pulsar Helium as it conducts appraisal well drilling and performs specialized down-hole tests to assess the properties of the reservoir. Starting in February 2024, the initial target depth is between 2,250 to 2,500 feet for the exploratory boring named Jetsream No. 1.