The Jan. 18 story, "Encampment asks to drill for minerals near Hoyt Lakes," stated that the Duluth Complex is “one of the richest, yet untapped, deposits of copper, nickel and other valuable minerals in the world." This statement has been demonstrated to be false by technical reports prepared by the very companies promoting the complex’s development. Average mineralization in the complex is below 1%. A cursory search of the internet discloses that many copper ore bodies are over 2% mineralization. It is a failure of journalism to describe the Duluth Complex as "rich."
When mining promoters try to convince me that Minnesota has rich ore bodies, I ask them if a woman with a 200-pound boyfriend should be jealous of another woman with a 400-pound boyfriend. The Duluth Complex is Minnesota's 400-pound boyfriend. It's nothing to brag about. It's big, but it's not rich.
Our existing taconite mines and proposed copper mines are burdened with the same problem of low-grade ores. Our many bankruptcies in the mining industry are not because our workers are lazy. They're because our workers are trying to compete with ore bodies with twice as much mineralization as Minnesota's.
We will never have a world-class mining industry if we don't have a world-class ore body. No such probability is in sight. If Duluth Complex mineralization was any lower it would be classified as dirt. Our government should be fostering economic diversity instead of destroying wetlands