His visits to Michigan and South Dakota are preparation for PolyMet decision.
Gov. Mark Dayton plans to visit two mines in other states — examples of good and bad environmental outcomes — as he prepares to decide whether Minnesota should move forward with a controversial project proposed by PolyMet Mining Corp. on the Iron Range.
The $650 million open-pit operation would be Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine. It promises to bring some 300 to 350 jobs to northeastern Minnesota, but it also would bring unprecedented environmental risks to a region known for beautiful lakes and forests.
A 10-year environmental review of the project is due for completion in November, and shortly after that PolyMet is expected to apply for a permit to start construction. Dayton has called it “the most momentous, difficult and controversial decision I will make as governor.”
That’s why he is taking the unusual step of examining mines in other states on Oct. 27 and Oct. 30.
Environmental groups suggested his first stop, the Gilt Edge Mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota, as an example of the worst that can happen. Opened in the late 1800s, it produced gold and silver until 1999, when the owner declared bankruptcy and abandoned it. It is now a highly contaminated Superfund site.
Like PolyMet’s project, Gilt Edge involves mining for metals in sulfide-bearing rock, which can cause highly acidic water pollution when exposed to air and water.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.startribune.com/gov-dayton-traveling-to-view-best-and-worst-of-mining/333056131/