On behalf of the strategic metals mining industry, I want to thank you for your thoughtful editorial "All Minnesota has stake in mining debate." Minnesota does have incredible natural resources across the state, and we could not agree more with the absolute need to protect what matters most to all of us — clean air and water.
The Duluth Complex, a rich strategic metals deposit discovered more than five decades ago, runs near the same area that forms the Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota. Technology now available will allow for safe, efficient and economical extraction of the metals, including copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum, palladium, and gold.
These technological advancements, combined with the global need for these metals for use in everything from wind turbines to heart stents, presents an opportunity for our state and for the people who live here — to benefit from a new industry that will grow our tax base and sustain our communities for generations to come with the potential for thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
Minnesota has strict air and water quality standards in place. Every company that proposes a project will be required to design and model their projects to meet the strict environmental standards set forth by state and federal regulatory agencies that protect our air and water.
Each project must go through a litany of steps to prove it will meet all standards. To describe the process as rigorous is an understatement, but a rigorous process is exactly what Minnesotans deserve. We all want clean air and water, and no strategic metals mining project will move forward until the company demonstrates it can produce the metals safely.
Yes, we agree Minnesotans should become educated on the strategic metals mining industry. Learn the facts, and participate in the open and transparent environmental review and permitting processes. Let's protect our air and water while working together to move our state forward and create jobs.