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  1. Just before Christmas, the Department of the Interior reversed an Obama administration decision and opened the door for a copper-nickel mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in the northeast Arrowhead region of Minnesota. ... Northeastern Minnesota is known as the Iron Range and taconite mining is deeply tied to its history. But Twin Metals, the Minneapolis-based company that holds the leases, is planning an underground copper-nickel mine, which has never been tried in the state. Opponents argue that this type of mine is much more toxic and risky than the traditional taconite mines of the Northstar State’s past. The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters states on its website: “It produces giant waste piles that, when exposed to air and water, leach sulfuric acid, heavy metals and sulfates. Sulfide-ore copper mines pollute groundwater, rivers and lakes. In the history of sulfide mining, pollution has never been avoided.” (I recommend viewing Campaign to Save website . Online petition and environmental science material - RS) However, Twin Metals points to the Eagle Mine, which has been operational since 2014, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as the only mine currently producing nickel in the U.S. You can read about that project here. The Twin Metals mining leases are located along the southwest border of the Boundary Waters. The location is critical because the site is north of the Laurentian Divide, meaning that rivers and streams in this watershed flow north. Pollution could have a massive impact on the entire ecosystem, not just the lakes and rivers near the mine. Sources: https://www.outdoorlife.com/what-sportsmen-need-to-know-about-boundary-waters-mine#page-2 4 page science facts handout on impact of Sulfide-Ore Copper mining on Boundary Waters Wilderness Area https://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/sites/default/files/public/attachments/stbw_science_fact_sheet.pdf Petition https://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/tell-department-interior-and-bureau-land-management-protect-boundary-waters
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