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Boreal Community Media

New report highlights risk of spills at proposed Polymet/Glencore mine

Nov 12, 2018 01:07PM ● By Editor
Photo:  The Motely Fool

From Boreal Community Media - November 12, 2018

A report was issued today by Duluth for Clean Water, a non-profit organization, that concludes the Polymet/Glencore mine would experience an estimated 5 spills per decade during its operation.

The study analyzes the track record of fourteen cooper sulfide mines in the United States with design which is similar to that proposed by Polymer/Glencore mine.

The report said "Results from a recent review of the spill records of fourteen copper sulfide mines in the U.S., accounting for 89% of U. S. copper production in 2010, were used to estimate the likelihood of spills and impoundment failures from the proposed PolyMet/Glencore mine. The mines reviewed share many technological designs included in PolyMet/Glencore's NorthMet proposal, and are subject to the same federal environmental regulations. Based on the 1986-2012 record during which the 14 mines had 175 spills and four impoundment failures total, we estimate that the PolyMet/Glencore mine would average five spills per decade (95% confidence interval: 3-8 spills per decade) with a 50% chance of tailings dam failure during the first 54 years. There is less than 0.5% chance that the PolyMet impoundment would perform as designed and not fail for 500 years."

You can see the full report by following this link to the Duluth for Clean Water website.

 The data for the report was based on a report by the Non-Profit Earthworks and can be accessed as a PDF here.  

Duluth for Clean Water is an all-volunteer 501c4 organization seeking a healthy future for the St. Louis River and Lake Superior watershed.

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