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Reconsider Arrowhead country copper mine

December 27, 2018

The former largest deposit of copper in North America was in Butte, Mont. The present largest deposit of copper in North America is in the Arrowhead country just south of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

I first canoed in the BWCA with my Scoutmaster in 1953, up the one-car track (some gravel) Gunflint Trail of corduroy (logs laid across swampy areas perpendicular to the road direction), bumpity, bumpity. We canoed the lovely BWCA lakes for a week, drank untreated pristine lake water every day and returned in love with the area. I would like to encourage our governor and legislators and permit-approvers to visit the present eight operable units of the Butte, Mont., Superfund site and understand the management of the Butte Mine, Berkely Pit with it’s contamination of heavy metals, copper, cadmium, cobalt, iron, manganese, zinc, arsenic, and has a pH of 2.5 (acidic). The Berkely Pit is higher than the city of Butte below it, and is scheduled to overflow in 2023. Our proposed Minnesota mining firm is from South America. Whether our Minnesota legal arm extends to South America is unknown. Most of these mining sites (e.g. Green Valley, Ariz., Twin Buttes) become Superfund sites, and the taxpayer’s responsibility. The outcome of this mining proposal as it relates to BWCA preservation is our responsibility.

Craig Martens, Rochester

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