Duluth News Tribune
Opinion: Nancy Norr
In my 25 years of experience as an economic-development professional, I’ve never come across an opportunity as important to Northeastern Minnesota’s economic future as copper-nickel mining. A significant economic base for this region is and will remain mining. The growth of this industry is critical to the long-term success of the region and will support a way of life for generations to come. The economic opportunity stretches from the environmental technician at the mine site in Hoyt Lakes to the engineering professionals in downtown Duluth.
PolyMet Mining’s proposed NorthMet project represents a continuation of our strong mining tradition. As the public comment period for the project’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement comes to a close, we are one step closer to bringing 360 full-time mining jobs to the Iron Range and more than 600 spinoff jobs in other industries.
These are career opportunities our young people need to support families. Too often in greater Minnesota we see empty storefronts, classrooms and industrial parks. Longtime residents are forced to move their families out of town to find work. This is the present, but it does not have to be the future; we can have thriving communities again.