"Minnesota's Mining Boom: New Riches Or New Threat?"

"The North Woods is being targeted for lucrative, but dangerous, mineral mining."

"ISABELLA, MINN. -- For 30 years, Ron Brodigan has cherished the winters that blanket his two-room log cabin near this tiny town in the North Woods. But soon that cold, white silence could be broken by the relentless grinding of a drill rig.

Beneath his land, on the doorstep of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, lies one of the largest untapped deposits of copper and nickel in the world. And now, for the third time in its history, Minnesota is on the verge of a mining boom.

This one, triggered by seismic shifts in the world economy, will present the state with its biggest environmental decision in a generation: Whether to open its arms to hard-rock mining, an industry that could bring thousands of jobs -- and a record of environmental calamities -- to the wildest and most beautiful corner of the state.

As two multinational mining companies set up shop here, a fierce debate is erupting over what kind of place Minnesota should be."

Josephine Marcotty reports for the Minneapolis Star Tribune September 28, 2011.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 09/29/2011