The Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council, a prominent labor group, said today it is opposing non-ferrous mining legislation being pushed by the environmental group Friends of the Boundary Waters.
"Non-ferrous mining will bring thousands of great-paying, enduring jobs and tens of millions of dollars to cities, schools and the state," the council said.
The council said non-ferrous mining for metals like copper and nickel would bring investments to Minnesota. That could boost the state's mining and construction equipment industries.
The state department of natural resources estimates that the proposed projects could bring more than $1 billion into the school trust fund, helping school districts all across Minnesota.
The proposed non-ferrous mining projects in Minnesota use the latest technology and will have to abide by Minnesota's existing environmental laws, which are some of the strictest in the country, the council said.
"Those of us who live and work in northeastern Minnesota respect the environment as much as anyone. The current laws and rules allow us to make sure that remains the case while bringing the great jobs to our region that come with this exciting new industry," said John Grahek, council vice president.