One of the selling points for several proposed copper and nickel mines in Minnesota has been that the metal can help power green technology like solar panels, electric vehicles and windmills. But that possibility has always been somewhat hypothetical, or at least hard to quantify for the controversial projects.
PolyMet Mining says metal from its proposed mine near Hoyt Lakes would be a commodity sold on a world market. But while there is high demand for things like EV batteries, there is no guarantee how much, if any, of the product would be used for domestic green technology.
Another proposed mine, Twin Metals Minnesota, said in August it was looking into the possibility of supplying an electric vehicle battery manufacturer with its project near Ely. The company also hopes to keep sales generally to the U.S. and allied countries. Yet Twin metals can’t ensure either thing will happen.
“We haven’t signed any contracts; we’re obviously very early in the process about where our concentrate and our metals would go,” said Julie Padilla, chief regulatory officer at Twin Metals in August.
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