Monday March 25, 2024

Twin Metals has a long history of successful and safe mineral exploration activities in the region, and the work is fundamental to identifying and mapping out the characteristics of the mineral resources that will one day support a transition to a clean energy future.

Did you know? 1.4 million feet of core samples are housed in Twin Metals Minnesota’s core storage facility in Ely, Minn. Stretched out side by side, those samples would cover about the distance between Ely and Minneapolis. That’s a lot of core samples.  

It’s the result of more than a decade and a half of exploration work, an activity that is essential to understanding and mapping out the characteristics of a geological formation. Twin Metals and its predecessor company Duluth Metals have a long history of exploration in the area, as is evidenced by the 17,000 square foot, union-built storage building at the Ely facilities. It’s an enormous library full of carefully organized information about a portion of the Duluth Complex, the world’s largest untapped copper-nickel deposit. It’s no wonder that “Wow!” is often the reaction we hear from visitors who enter the building for the first time.

James Devine, Twin Metals Community & Project Operations Manager, loads core samples from an exploration drilling crew

We’re proud to take visitors through our core storage facility, because we have been able to put a lot of people to work over the years as we’ve slowly filled the shelves with rocks from more than 650 drill holes, and those workers in turn have helped fill local motels and restaurants while on the job.

We’re also proud of our impeccable track record while we have conducted this work. Safety and responsibility are embedded in everything we do at Twin Metals, because we care deeply about making sure our employees and contractors are well taken care of. That means all employees and contractors adhere to strict safety protocols, with regular safety checks done at each site on a daily basis. Environmental safety means we minimize our impact on the surrounding environment in every way possible. Our exploration sites are compact, we implement measures to reduce noise and light, and we reclaim sites back to their natural state once we are done.

Exploration provides us with essential data about the size, scope, geometry, depth, and metal content of our mineral deposits, which lie deep underground. This data is then used to determine whether more information is needed through additional drilling and whether a deposit can be economically developed. Exploration requires enlisting a broad range of expertise, including geologists, environmental consultants, drillers and safety specialists, in addition to obtaining authorization from and working under the direction of regulatory authorities like the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health.

The work involved in exploration is the first step in the long process of developing a mine. If, after analyzing and piecing together the data from an exploration program, it’s determined that a mineral deposit could support development of a mining project, an extensive series of next steps are required before a mining proposal can even be submitted. That includes community engagement, hydrogeological, engineering, environmental, core sample analysis work and more – often for at least several years – before a mine proposal is submitted to agencies for the beginning of the environmental review process.

Learn more about our past and current exploration programs through our new video series below.

Mineral Exploration at Twin Metals Minnesota: An Overview

Twin Metals has undertaken the largest exploration program in the state of Minnesota. Learn about past and present exploration at Twin Metals and how we instill safety in everything that we do.

2024 Winter Exploration Program at Twin Metals

This winter, Twin Metals Minnesota has conducted an exploration program on a small number of our state and private mineral leases, in an area southwest of the original project site. Our goal is to better define the mineral resources available in our region to further our understanding of our potential to contribute clean energy minerals needed for a cleaner future.

Videos by Story North Productions, Duluth, Minn.