Skip to main content

Ely business owners to fight copper mining

  • Author:
  • Updated:

When the weather finally heats up this year, so will the debate over whether to build copper and nickel mines near Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

A canoe outfitter and other business owners in northern Minnesota are preparing to launch a new "action center" that will urge residents and visitors to oppose future mining operations in the area.

Supporters of the new "Sustainable Ely" center, which is expect to open around May 24, say the environmental risk isn’t worth the promised jobs and economic boost.

"We're hoping to get 25,000 people through the center this summer, and we hope to convince two-thirds of them to take action, to send an email to Congress and the president asking them to make this waterway a no-mining zone," canoe outfitter Steve Piragis told the newspaper.

St. Paul-based Twin Metals Minnesota, which is owned by Ontario-based Duluth Metals, is making plans for a multibillion mine southeast of Ely that would be one of the largest in the world.

“It’s entirely legitimate for a group of citizens to express their views. … What will be telling is the quality of the information they use,” Bob McFarlin, vice president of public and government affairs for Twin Metals Minnesota, told the Duluth News Tribune. “Hopefully, their effort will contribute to the factual discussion on the issue.”

Last week, the national environmental group American Rivers also called the proposed mine a threaten to the BWCA.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves survive Knicks' second-half barrage to get back to .500

Karl-Anthony Towns' lay-in helped Minnesota get a win in The Garden.

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.


Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.


Giant mine near Ely would be 'like an underground city'

Twin Metals wants to build the largest mine in Minnesota history -- a project on par with the biggest mines in the world -- to tap into what geologists say are enormous metal deposits. The Duluth News Tribune says it would be among the most extensive private enterprises in state history.