Can canoeing and mining coexist? Yes: Northland needs both mining and pristine nature – by Karl Everett (Duluth News Tribune – November 1, 2015)

Karl Everett of Duluth is a professional engineer, a geologist and a paddler. He has worked as a senior environmental manager; has consulted for mining and industrial clients; and has worked on many mining, metal and nonmetal projects.

We need mining for jobs and the economy in Minnesota. Mining continues to be one of the largest contributors to Northeastern Minnesota’s economy and directly employs thousands of men and women in high-paying jobs with medical benefits and supports additional people employed by vendors.

Part of the direct impact to the economy includes taxes and royalties paid by the mining industry toward Minnesota’s education.

Environmental management is a worldwide issue. After seeing pictures from Beijing during the Olympics, I think we are better at environmental management than most countries. All our mining operations are required to go through strict environmental reviews, and mining companies are required to provide financial assurance to guarantee success.

Process, storm water and sulfates discharges are limited. There is no net loss of wetlands. Air pollution is controlled by the Clean Air Act, and regulations are strictly enforced. Even regional haze is regulated in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Copper, nickel and platinum-palladium sulfide ores already are being successfully mined in the Lake Superior basin in Michigan and Canada. There are many successfully reclaimed mining projects, including copper mines. One nearby example is the Flambeau Mine, which the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources claimed to be an example of a successfully reclaimed copper sulfide mine.

Mineral deposits are natural resources and occur in unique locations. Like the BWCAW, the copper-nickel resource also is a unique natural resource. The copper-nickel deposit is the world’s largest copper deposit and the world’s third-largest nickel deposit.

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