Mining Supporters Rally Ahead of Hearing on the Range

Mining supporters gathered in Virginia ahead of a meeting to discuss proposed ban on mineral exploration on federal lands. Mining supporters gathered in Virginia ahead of a meeting to discuss proposed ban on mineral exploration on federal lands. |  Photo: WDIO-TV

July 25, 2017 09:07 PM

VIRGINIA, Minn. - A large group of mining supporters gathered in Virginia on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the third hearing hosted by the U.S. Forest Service. As we've reported, the agency is proposing to ban mineral exploration on federal lands for 20 years. This ban would hurt a proposed project called Twin Metals.

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The pro-mining group rallied to let the public know they are ready to fight for their way of life.

"It's starting to be bull&@#* for us to always have to fight for things on the Iron Range," Mayor Rick Cannata of Hibbing said. "We have people coming up here and telling us what to do. We have the best land and the best lakes."  

Nancy Norr, Chair of Jobs for Minnesotans, said, "We need your voices heard all the way to D.C."

And Kathi Croft, whose family has mined for five generations, said, "We want nothing more than to continue our mining heritage, and provide quality jobs for our children. All while maintaining our love for the lakes, and the outdoors."

This same group, which includes members of Jobs for Minnesotans, boycotted the second hearing, which was in St. Paul last week.

They then marched to the high school, to show they are united in their stance.

Environmental groups held a rally down there, before that hearing. Amy Freeman, who camped a whole year in the Boundary Waters to show her support for the wilderness, said, "I want to look at this long term, and I think it's important to consider what would happen to the region if the resources are mined and when we're left with a big hole in the ground."

The groups, who are part of the "Save the Boundary Waters" campaign did not host a rally on this Tuesday. A busload did come up from Duluth. 


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