Join the Movement to Protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area from Twin Metals’ Mine

For almost a decade, a growing number of people have been alarmed at the possibility of America’s most polluting industry opening up at the door step of the Boundary Waters.

Recent actions by the federal government have stopped Twin Metals. But the copper is still there.

For the sake of the water and the wilderness, let’s work together to ensure this treasured land is protected for generations to come.

At its heart, this is a story about water

Water is the lifeblood of the BWCA.

It’s what makes it a unique, and vulnerable ecosystem.

The geology of the BWCA is such that it can’t buffer or effectively absorb the acid mine drainage that would come from this mine.

Because of this, pollution from the Twin Metals’ copper-sulfide mine could spread over two million acres of pristine water. Contaminating not just the BWCA, but Quetico Provincial Park and Voyageurs National Park.

Image of a mine tunnel similar to Twin Metals' proposed mine.

Antofagasta, the Chilean-conglomerate that owns Twin Metals, has proposed a mine that would tunnel under Birch Lake and the Kawishawi River. These bodies of water drain directly into the Boundary Waters.

The processing facility, where they would pulverize the ore to extract trace amounts of copper and other metals, and the mountains of reactive waste rock they would produce each day, would all be done at the edge of the BWCA.

Toxic mining threatens Minnesota's forests

It’s not a question of if, but when this mine would pollute.

Image showing the harmful waste that could be created by Twin Metal Mining.

Stopping Twin Metals

The fight to protect the Boundary Waters has galvanized tens of thousands of Americans. It has grown into a nation-wide effort to save this unique wilderness.

For four years the Trump administration worked to fast-track Antofagasta’s dangerous mine near the Boundary Waters.

But now, clean water is finally winning.

More good news followed in January, 2022 when the Department of the Interior canceled Twin Metals’ mineral leases.

In June 2022, the US Forest Service released the results of a two-year study into the effects of sulfide mining on the Boundary Waters. Based on the results of the study, the Forest Service is moving to recommend a 20-year moratorium on sulfide mining on over 224,000 acres of land surrounding the BWCA. If implemented, this would stop Twin Metals in its tracks and protect the wilderness from this toxic industry.

While these are major turning points, the copper is still there. Twin Metals will no doubt fight these protections.

In the meantime, we are taking advantage of the momentum to enshrine these protections into law.

Toxic mine waste runoff could spill into the Boundary Waters.

Speak Up for Clean Water

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness has introduced a Prove It First bill into the Minnesota legislature. If signed into law, it would stop Twin Metals and other dangerous mines from polluting our water.

This common-sense piece of legislation is simple. Before a copper-sulfide mine could be permitted in Minnesota, there must be independent proof that a similar mine has operated for at least ten years without causing pollution and that a mine has been closed for at least ten years without causing pollution.

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Give to the Max for the BWCA

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