DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE: FEDERAL INFRASTRUCTURE BILL COULD BE A BOON FOR MINNESOTA METALS MINING
Duluth News Tribune
August 24, 2021
In the words of MiningMinnesota Executive Director Frank Ongaro, “a significant chunk of dough” is in the $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill for “critical mineral research.” That means, with the 8 billion tons of critical minerals already identified in the Duluth Complex — “one of the most significant deposits on the planet,” as Ongaro called it — a potential boon and windfall for northern Minnesota is easy to see in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The act passed the Senate this month with bipartisan support and is awaiting House action.
Northern Minnesota would “absolutely” be an appropriate and good place for investing the minerals funding specified in the bill, Ongaro said in an interview last week with the News Tribune Opinion page. “I can’t at first blush think of what a downside would be.”
Sections 4201 through 4208 of the act include $300 million to the U.S. Geological Survey, or USGS, for a “critical mineral research facility” and for a “rare earth demonstration facility.” Rare earth metals aren’t found around here but in coal country, including in West Virginia and in the western United States. Both Time magazine and E&E News reported that $140 million of the $300 million total were for rare earth metals research.
Read the full article here.