Last weekend the Duluth News Tribune ran an editorial from Dean DeBeltz of Twin Metals which argued that anti-mining groups who say Twin Metals cannot operate responsibly are basing these claims on speculation and not science. He could not be more correct.
Twin Metals has yet to submit a mining plan, which means anyone who opposes the mine now is not objecting to any potential technical shortcoming in the design of the project, but rather they are opposed to mining in general, and are projecting this opposition onto the Twin Metals project.
Unfortunately, this is par for the course.
Anti-mining groups like Friends of the Boundary Waters often use scary, but inaccurate, imagery to scare people about copper-nickel mining in Minnesota. The screenshot below is from their website, which shows all of the waterways becoming black -as if they were filled with oil- insinuating that this is the grim future faced by Minnesota’s environment if copper-nickel mining is allowed to proceed. They publish these graphics even though the tailings will be non-acid generating.
There is absolutely nothing scientific about this kind of fear-mongering because there is no proposed mine plan to critique.
Governor Walz has stated that he will “follow the science” on mining, and thus far he has not thrown up roadblocks to the PolyMet project. However, his decision to delay the Line 3 oil pipeline makes me question the sincerity of this his dedication to “following the science.”
In his article, DeBeltz wrote:
We with Twin Metals Minnesota disagreed with the May 24 commentary in the News Tribune calling for a ban on mining in the Rainy River watershed (Local View: “Protect Boundary Waters’ economic, environmental advantages”).