Thunder Bay: Opponents to copper mine in Northern Minnesota hope to rally support in Fort Frances, Ont. – by Jeff Walters (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 14, 2019)

A proposed copper mine in Northern Minnesota will get some attention Wednesday evening at a public meeting in Fort Frances, Ont. The Coalition to Save the Boundary Waters hopes to get some support from Canadians, and wants people in Fort Frances to speak with government to try and have Canadian politicians oppose the mine south of the border.

“This type of mining in sulfide bearing ore inevitably leads to the degredation of water quality,” said Becky Rom, the Chair of the coalition. “And yet, what we have here are interconnected waters, and our water quality is extremely good.”

Rom said water discharged from the mine would lead to the Boundary Waters, and through Quetico Provincial Park before reaching Rainy Lake and Rainy River, which include Canadian and U.S. waters.

“It’s also very vulnerable, because the chemistry of the waters tells us there’s very little in the way of base compounds that would buffer the introduction of acid mine drainage,” which is what comes from copper mining, she said.

Rom said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes copper mining as the most toxic industry in the country. She said the juxtaposition of the protected areas and the toxic industry is the reason so many people are opposed to the project.

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