More Mining in Ely?
I’m so glad I’m not right in the middle of this fight or the one against the cell phone tower near Ely, MN. It does affect us but not as much as it would if we were on the west end of the Boundary Waters. We’re lucky we live on the Gunflint Trail where just a thin strip of land surrounding the Trail is outside of the BWCAW. This severely limits the types of activities that can take place in our special part of the world. If it isn’t one thing over there then it is another. This is the latest.
From the Northland’s Newscenter
Duluth Metals has recently signed a multi million dollar partnership with a Chilean mining company to help fund exploration of what could be one of the largest deposits of copper, nickel, gold, platinum, and palladium on the North American continent. The location, near Ely, has many residents and those who like to visit Ely and the near–by Boundary Waters concerned about the environmental damage this mining could do.
"We have two drill holes that were put down on this site. And you can see the natural reclamation of this immediate area," said Sandri.
Sandri says a deposit of the size of this one near Ely is an extremely rare find.
"Not only is the grade mineral very high relative to these parts of deposits, but its size is quite large."
But for residents in Ely, the monetary value of the minerals is unimportant compared to fears of the environmental impact of sulfite ore mining.
"The fact of the matter is there is not one proven mine in all of the world that is a sulfite ore mine that has been environmentally safe," said Jane Koschak.
"Ely is not, as they say. A mining community. Ely has not been a mining community since the early 1960s since the Pioneer Mine closed," said Steve Koschak.
Jane and Steve Koschak are the owners of River Point Resort near Ely. They say there is no price tag that can be placed on an area like the Boundary Waters.
"We need to realize the value of what we have here."
Duluth Metals spokesmen say if this mine were to open it would create about 400 full–time jobs.
"The material that we are interested in are the kind of the sparkly, metallic bits in there."
It comes from over 3,000 feet below the earth’s surface.