June 2013: Mining controversial near the BWCA
About a dozen companies are exploring for copper, nickel, and gold in a vast geological formation below northeast Minnesota that some say could generate billions in revenue and thousands of jobs. The promise of a mining boom and its threat to the most beautiful corner of the state has bitterly divided the town of Ely. In Ely, all eyes are on PolyMet, which this summer will be the first company to reveal its plans for how it will mine 6,700 acres near Hoyt Lakes without polluting the water with acid mine drainage. Because next up is Twin Metals, which hopes build a vast underground mine on the banks of the Kawishiwi River outside of Ely.