Sustainable Mining is an Oxymoron – Legislation has been introduced to create a so-called “Sustainable Mining Institute” ( HF 2842/ SF 2632 ). Money would be appropriated from the state general fund ($3 million for 2015, and may accept funds from outside sources).
Mineral resources are finite, therefore mining is inherently not sustainable. In addition, the mining process depletes clean, sustaining sources of water, and requires enormous amounts of energy.
This legislation is unnecessary and is a subsidy to the mining industry to promote more mining. The Natural Resource Research Institute (NRRI) and the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) are already involved in research on mining, along with the Department of Natural Resources Lands and Minerals Division.
Any new research money should instead be devoted to a sustainable use of our metals. Our state could create a Sustainable Usage of Metals Research Institute. Such research could find ways to recycle metals, repair products made from metals, engineer more efficient design of products, increase product durability, increase the longevity of metals already in use, re-source metals from abandoned settings, substitute non-metal materials where possible, and promote boycotting of electronic items that are designed for obsolescence.
When our metals run out, they are gone, not to be replaced. Northeastern Minnesota needs to take a new direction, away from dependency upon a destructive and unhealthy mining economy that is inherently unsustainable.
Email your legislators in opposition to this bill ( HF 2842/ SF 2632 ) Tell them to stop promoting mining and instead support the clean water and intact ecosystems that truly sustain all of us.