Ingenuity, Technology, Engineering and MINING

By July 31, 2007General

But will they have to rename the Iron Range? From AP:

Babbitt, Minn. A mineral company is drilling test holes about 2,000 feet beneath northeastern Minnesota’s Birch Lake and on nearby land, exploring what’s long believed to be a vast deposit of copper, nickel and other precious metals.

Low metal prices historically made the deposits unattractive to developers, but an increase in demand, new processing technologies and stronger metal prices has upped the financial incentive in recent years for mining the ore.

It could mean hundreds of workers toiling in metal mines in this part of the state in the coming years.

Estimates are that about 4 billion tons of mineable copper, nickel and precious metals like gold, palladium and platinum exist in the region, according to MiningMinnesota, a trade group that represents copper, nickel and metals producers.

The MiningMinnesota site has lots of interesting information about the potential for non-ferrous metals, with a heavy emphasis on environmental sensitivity.

Modern mining practices have come a long way in the past 20 years. For example, the non-ferrous mining operation proposed for Hoyt Lakes will not involve a smelter, will have zero water discharge, and will line and cap the waste rock. The objective is to have as minimal an environmental impact as possible at any mining sites in Minnesota.

Hmm. The Range Formerly Known as Iron?

Hat tip, James Lileks at

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