Mesabi Daily News
The scene was familiar, and so were the faces. At the first public comment hearing for the PolyMet permit to mine, the story was itself familiar as the mine’s supporters weighed in to state agencies over one of the final critical hurdles for the NorthMet project.
Aurora Mayor Dave Lislegard said PolyMet represented opportunities for the East Range to grow, pointing to a number of Mesabi East students in the audience. Those 30 students donned bright blue PolyMet T-shirts with “Tomorrow is Mine” on the back. Many of them weren’t born when the company began exploring and pitching the project to the state.
One of those students, Brandi Salmela, spoke during the public comment portion. Her grandfather was a miner and her father a construction worker on several of the area’s recent mining sites. She said a green light for PolyMet would continue the Range’s mining tradition for another generation.