Non-ferrous exploration drill sites

Purple dots indicate nonferrous (non-iron) mineral exploration sites (source: MDNR).   Generally, these are sulfide mineral deposits.

Drill core samples are stored in a huge, overflowing DNR warehouse in Hibbing.  After a period to allow the leasing company propietary rights to the information, they are available to the public (other companies) for further evaluation of the mineralization.

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MINING FOOTPRINT map

See a recent map of mining activity in northern Minnesota produced by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), who says:  “To help legislators and the public better understand the Safe Mines to Protect Our Water legislation [2009] under consideration at the state capitol, we’ve worked with our partners to produce several informational pieces, including a brief introduction to the bill, a reality check, a few examples of sulfide mines gone wrong, and a detailed map showing mining activity in northern Minnesota.”

Prospecting in theSuperior National Forest (northeast Minnesota) Hardrock Mineral

The U.S. Forest Service has closed the public comment period July 1 ,2011 on  its Hardrock Prospecting DEIS.  Hundreds of citizens submitted comments explaining how the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) inadequately analyzed harm to water quality and sensitive wetlands, forests, and the wildlife for whom the Forest is their home.  WaterLegacy’s comments call for preparation of a Supplemental DEIS to address the numerous significant flaws and gaps in the DEIS.

The Forest Service contends that the EIS is necessary to “harmonize” management by the U.S. Bureau of Land Managment of the mineral estate (the metals underground) and the surface ownership, which is the Forest Service’s responsibility.  In much of the National Forest, the surface and mineral rights are severed, and the state of Minnesota has been promoting exploration for copper, nickel and other nonferrous metals.  state mineral leases have become a regular event annually or more frequently, according to industry interest.  Learn more …