Final Polymet Project Public Meeting Held

The public can make comments on the proposed copper nickel mine into March.

DULUTH, Minn.- Hundreds of people packed the DECC for the final public input meeting on Polymet’s proposed copper nickel mine near Babbit.

The police presence was ramped up, before anyone even entered the ballroom. The DNR and Duluth police doing pat–downs on the hundreds who wanted to attend. Beyond that the issues of pro–miners and those worried about the environment remained as passionate as past meetings. The security Thursday night is a first at the public meetings, but many in attendance have been following the North Net Mining Project for a long time. Each side hopes a decision will be made towards what they feel is best for their home.

“It’s just the community around there,” Polymet Project supporter Nathan Giese said. “You know our families are miners, it’s our way of life.”

Nathan Giese is from the Iron Range and says his family has watched the Iron Range population drop since the decline in mining.

“My graduating class was 50 and it use to be 500 when my dad was a kid,” Giese said.

Members of the Giese family spoke out to the crowd Thursday night. Nathan says he questions speakers from Duluth and the Twin Cities that are in opposition to the mine.

“It affects our community more than theirs,” Giese said.

Environmentalists say they’re protecting Northeast Minnesota.

“Everybody in this area is in concern,” environmentalist Tom Thomson said.

Tom said he rejects the Polymet Project for other reasons not concerning the environment.

“Polymet is a foriegn corporation that is seeking permission to come into Northeast Minnesota,” Thomson said.

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