Birch Lake mining proposal takes big step forward

Franconia Minerals Corporation announced a significant development last week in its proposal. Franconia would like to mine sulfide ores underneath Birch Lake, just a few miles from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and in a river system that flows into the BWCAW.

The company issued a press release announcing on Thursday announcing that it has begun work to study how

“waste materials – primarily rock – will weather when they are exposed or stockpiled during the mining process. The long term results of these studies will be used in the design and development of any future mine plan in order to minimize or eliminate potential environmental impacts created by such weathering.”

Franconia’s announcement, coming just days after the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the PolyMet project, demonstrates how other companies are “lined up like cars behind a snowplow.” In fact, as part of last week’s announcement, Franconia’s CEO stated, “Our goal is to be ready to become the second company in the Duluth Complex, after Polymet, to build a mine.”