Newsweek explores copper boom

Newsweek‘s Niall Ferguson pens an interesting story about the booming prices of copper around the world and the increased viability of copper mines. This should rightly remind those of us on Minnesota’s Iron Range of proposed copper and other nonferrous mineral mining proposals in our area. The article does a good job of explaining the intense demand for these minerals and one can extrapolate from there. The last part of the story, however, illustrates my largest reservation about this mining. Spending too much energy and hope on mineral mining is more likely to produce a boomlet than it is a long term economic strategy.

It’s a mining company’s job to mine ores responsibly and deliver them to be processed into important metals for human use on this Earth. It’s a community’s job to ensure long term economic stability for itself. Those two functions often overlap, but the first without the latter doesn’t work.


  1. If we can get 40-50 years out of the copper vein, like some believe, lets start right now. If we can get 10-20 years, lets start right now.
    The permits are being hung up and those of us who want to mine up here need to contact our representatives and push hard on them to deliver the permits. For those “Greenies” who don’t want it, grab your signs and protest to your hearts content. That renewable energy green job is right around the corner, as of today we get less than 1% of our energy from wind/solar, but that well paying “green” job is on the way.

  2. I agree.


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