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Illegal Mining Threatens Gorillas in the Congo

In November of 2019, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an opinion piece by the Strib Editorial Board "Not This Mine, Not This Location." The piece sought to lay out why Twin Metals Minnesota should not be allowed to develop the large deposits of copper, nickel, and cobalt because the proposed underground mine would be in the same watershed as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which is simply so special that we must not try to manage the environmental risks of mining, we should reject them altogether. Whether the editorial board realizes it or not, their position is the epitome of...

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Congressional Democrats Ditch Rep. Stauber’s Anti-Child-Labor Measure for Green Energy Minerals

Green New Deal faithful have a quite a conundrum; they want to completely stop using fossil fuels by switching to wind turbines, solar panels, and lithium ion batteries, but they also hate the mining that is necessary to produce wind turbines, solar panels, and lithium ion batteries. These technologies require large amounts of copper, nickel, cobalt, and other precious metals that are often mined in areas of the world with few protections for workers or the environment. It doesn't have to be this way. Minnesota's Duluth Complex is home to some of the largest undeveloped copper and nickel deposits in the...

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Can Mining in Minnesota Reduce Child Labor in the Congo?

Cobalt has become a controversial topic in the debate over copper nickel mining in Minnesota’s Duluth Complex. This metal, which is used in the lithium ion batteries in laptops, tablets, and electric cars, has become a lighting rod because most of the cobalt produced in the world comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where some of the cobalt is mined using child labor. Virtually everyone has a cellphone, laptop, or tablet that has a battery requiring cobalt. This has led many people to ask the question, can mining in Minnesota reduce the demand for unethically mined cobalt in...

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With Rise of Electric Vehicles, a New Foreign Energy Dependence Looms

Self-identified environmentalists in Minnesota want to increase the adoption of wind, solar, and electric vehicles in our state, but they also generally oppose opening new mines in Minnesota that would help provide the copper, nickel, and cobalt that will be needed to actually build the wind turbines, solar panels, and electric cars they profess to care so much about. [caption id="attachment_11096" align="aligncenter" width="748"] One 3-MW turbine contains. 335 tons of steel. 4.7 tons of copper. 1,200 tons of concrete (cement and aggregates) 3 tons of aluminum. 2 tons of rare earth elements. aluminum. zinc. molybdenum. (NW Mining Association)[/caption]   Cobalt is an especially...

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