Talon Metals Mining
Rio TInto/Kennecott/Talon Metals Mining Company has been drilling core samples near Tamarack since 2000 to assess the likelihood of copper/nickel mining in the Big Sandy Watershed.
* Mining and processing copper/nickel ores releases sulfides into
the environment, forming sulfuric acid which extracts toxic metals
such as arsenic and mercury
* Sulfuric acid can be converted to sulfide by bacteria and dissolved
organic carbon in the sediments of lakes, rivers and streams
* Sulfide reduces the germination of wild rice seeds resulting in a
decrease or elimination of wild rice
* Mercury in water can be converted to methyl mercury, a known
toxin that bio-accumulates in fish and that when consumed can
cause brain damage and reduced intelligence
* The reaction of sulfides with iron phosphate in lake sediments
may release soluble phosphate, a nutrient that causes excess
algae and weed growth in lakes, streams and rivers.
Because a key objective of BSLA is “To advocate practices that protect and improve water quality,” BSLA’s position on potential mining in the watershed is to support a stringent sulfate standard for water discharges with financial assurances and strict adherence to all permit requirements. Metal mining has a history of causing pollution for many decades following closure. Financial assurances are needed to treat water discharges and leachates following closure.
For additional information on copper/nickel mining in Minnesota and related news articles see tamarackwateralliance.org
For information on Rio Tinto/ Kennecott/Talon Metals activities
in the Tamarack area see
For information about the effects of sulfide on wild rice production see