Pollution along a lake - aerial photo.

What is the threat?

The Boundary Waters and the greater Quetico-Superior Ecosystem is threatened by America’s most toxic industry.

Processing Facility of a mine in Chile

Sulfide-ore copper mining is proposed on the edge of the Wilderness

Unlike iron mining, sulfide-ore copper mining has never been done in the state of Minnesota. This type of mining generates waste rock full of sulfates, which, when exposed to air and water, becomes sulphuric acid, and leaches toxins like heavy metals into the surrounding water. This destructive industry should not be allowed in the headwaters of the Boundary Waters.

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Fish in polluted water

100% of copper mines experience spills or accidental releases

Canoe Guide on the water

4,500 direct jobs
rely on a healthy Wilderness

Dollar sign - economy

A $16 Billion Economy
relies on a healthy Wilderness

Acid Mine Drainage - pollution from mining

America's Most Toxic Industry

History shows that heavy metal mining, like copper mining, always pollutes. The giant waste piles leach sulfuric acid, heavy metals, and sulfate pollution. Peer-reviewed science shows pollution from copper mining in the headwaters of the Boundary Waters would permanently damage the extensively interconnected downstream lakes, rivers, and groundwater.

Learn more in our Resource Library


Ely Outfitting Company's canoe rack and outfitting building

Ruining a sustainable economy

Studies show that sulfide-ore copper mining along lakes and streams that flow into the Boundary Waters would put at risk the sustainable economy of northeastern Minnesota. Directly in the “path of pollution” alone, there are over thirty businesses, including outfitters, camps, and resorts, that would be devastated if a Twin Metals mine were built. 350+ businesses in the Boundary Waters Business Coalition want this place protected.

Boundary Waters Business Coalition

mine pollution orange colored river

Harvard research shows that a Wilderness-based economy creates more jobs than a Twin Metals mine

In 2018, a Harvard study showed that a healthy Boundary Waters creates a healthy economy built for the long-haul: a 20-year mining ban would produce far greater economic benefit and diversity than the proposed Twin Metals mine with up to 4,500 more jobs and $900 million more personal income to the local area.

Learn more abouT THE Study

Together, we can protect the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining.