Latest Posts





Michigan Could Have Four Non-Ferrous Mines Within Four Years. Will Minnesota Have Any?

Both Minnesota and Michigan have rich traditions of mining. Iron mines operate in both states, and both states have significant reserves of copper and nickel. However, Michigan is mining these resources, whereas Minnesota is not, at least not yet.

The Eagle Mine, located in the Upper Penisula of Michigan, is currently producing nickel and copper along with other precious metals. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has granted final permits for two additional mines. These mines are the Back Forty Mine, which will be a zinc/gold mine, the Copperwood Mine, a copper-silver mine. The White Pine North mine, which would also mine copper and silver, could also be re-opened, but no DEQ final permits have been issued.


The Back Forty mine is expected to produce 721 million pounds of zinc, 74 million pounds of copper, 21 million pounds of lead, 4.6 million ounces of silver and 532,000 ounces of gold. The company is currently expanding the baseline wetlands data the company  has been gathering as part of new DEQ requirements. As of now, the construction timeline for the mine has not been announced.

Highland plans to begin preparing the Copperwood site in January with construction expected to start later next year. Following a two-year build, initial production is targeted for 2021.

The White Pine North mine operated from 1954-1995, producing 4,529,599,418 pounds of copper. Although the mine is currently closed, the Michigan DEQ lists it as a possibility for continued mining in the future.

With all the planned investment in mining in Michigan, it seems fair to ask, will there be any non-ferrous mines in Minnesota?




Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast Series Featuring Isaac Orr

    Location: The Oaks at Eagle Creek 1000 26th Ave NE Willmar, MN 56201

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, August 27th at The Oaks at Eagle Creek for breakfast with Center policy fellow and energy expert, Isaac Orr. Following his discussion of his new report, Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion, Isaac will be joined by Rep. Tim Miller, Rep. Dave Baker, and Sen. Andrew Lang for a conversation about renewable energy standards in Minnesota. Tuesday, August 27, 2019 The Oaks at Eagle Creek 1000 26th Ave NE, Willmar, MN 56201 7:30 AM Breakfast & Check-In 8:00 AM Presentation…

  • Fall Briefing Featuring Kimberley Strassel

    Location: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts 345 Washington Street, St. Paul, MN 55102

    Purchase Tickets Here

    Register Now