Sustainability and Stewardship of Mineral Resources in Minnesota
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Sustainability and Stewardship of Mineral Resources in Minnesota. Jim Miller University of Minnesota Duluth. Terminology and Definitions.

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Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Sustainability and Stewardship of Mineral Resources in Minnesota

Jim Miller

University of Minnesota Duluth


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Terminology and Definitions

Natural Resources – materials, and energy that occur naturally within the Earth’s spheres. Many are essential for our survival, while others are used for satisfying our wants.

  • Water Resources

  • unlimited

  • recycleable

  • reuseable

  • Biological Resources

  • renewable

  • recycleable

  • reuseable

Stuff

  • Mineral Resources

  • non-renewable

  • recycleable

  • reuseable

  • Wind and Solar

  • unlimited

“Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (1984, United Nations Commission)

Stewardship - “administration, management, control, including responsible use of resources” (Oxford English Dictionary Online)


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

  • Talk Outline

  • Iron Ore Mining

  • What is Iron Ore?

  • Why is it here?

  • What is the future? – reclamation/re-use

  • Copper-Nickel-Precious Metal Deposits

  • Why are they here?

  • Why does do they contain sulfur?

  • Why do we need these metals?

  • How will this be mined safely?

  • When will this be mined? -Stewardship

  • What happens when the mines close?


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Iron Ore Mining (1884-Present)


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Iron Formations of the

Lake Superior Region

Taconite Ore

Vermilion

Babbitt, MN

Natural Ore

Hematite Ore

Chisolm, MN

Ispheming, MI


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

BIOGENIC ORIGIN?

STROMATOLITES

(Fossilized Algal Mats)

Evidence of Early Life

LTV Mine, MN

Shark Bay, Australia

Mary Ellen Mine, MN


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Rocheleau Natural Ore Pit

Hull Rust Taconite Mine

Dunka Pit


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Laurentian Vision Partnership

Reclamation and Re-use of the Mesabi Range


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

A Looming Stewardship Question for Minnesotans:

Should we develop this immense copper-nickel-precious metal mineral resource?


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

_______________

THE MIDCONTINENT RIFT

_______________

An attempt at continental rifting 1.1 billion years ago


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Cu-Ni-PGE Sulfide Deposits of the Duluth Gabbro Complex

S

Cu, Ni, PGE

S


The role of sulfur in concentrating metals most of the world s metal comes from sulfide minerals

The Role of Sulfur in Concentrating MetalsMost of the world’s metal comes from sulfide minerals

Chalcopyrite

CuFeS2

Bornite

Cu5FeS4

Chalcocite

Cu2S

Pentlandite

(Fe,Ni)9S8

Sphalerite

ZnS

Cinnabar

HgS

Molybdenite

MoS2

Cobaltite

CoAsS

Galena

PbS


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

United States –

The #1 consumer of mineral resources,

but produces

little for itself

% Mined by US % Imported for

Metalvs. Total Mining US consumption

Copper 7.7% 40%

(Chile (30%), US, Indonesia, Peru)

Nickel 0% 54%

(Russia, Australia, Canada, Indonesia)

Cobalt 0% 78%

(Congo (30%), Zambia, Australia, Canada)

Palladium 6.6% 78%

(Russia (44%), South Africa (38%))

Statistics from US Geological Survey

Mineral Commodity Summaries, Jan. 2006


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

COPPER

An Important Metal in a Green Economy

NW Mining Association, 2009

Cu in a Standard Car with Combustion Engine

43-55 lbs

Cu in a Prius

80 lbs


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

US consumption from recycled Cu 2010

35%

Data from USGS Mineral Commodity Summary


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

PGE – Platinum Group Elements

Pt – Platinum, Pd – Palladium, Os – Osmium, Ru – Ruthenium, Rh – Rhodium, Ir - Iridium


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Bushveld Complex

South Africa

Supplying the 70% of the World’s Platinum

Merensky Reef, Amplats Mine, Rustenburg, SA

Merensky Reef, Eastern Bushveld Complex


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Palladium:

“The Environmental Metal”

Pd

Uses


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Noril’sk, Russia

Ni-Cu-PGE Deposits

Supplies 60% of the World’s Palladium

Sulfide Smelter in Monchegorsk, Russia

In 1998, responsible for 50% of SO2

in the northern hemisphere


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

The Stillwater Mine (Montana)

Only Precious Metals Mine in the U.S. (owned by Noril’sk Nickel)


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

PolyMet Mine Plan

Re-Use as One Form of Sustainability


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Re-Use of LTV Taconite Facilities

Rod and Ball Mills

Tailings Basin

Crusher

Mill


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Secondary

Crusher

Mill

Primary

Crusher


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Separating Metal from Sulfur

THEN

Roasting/Smelting

Sudbury, Ont.

Monchegorsk, Russia

NOW

Hydrometallurgy


The concern and the challenge acid mine drainage

The Concern and the Challenge - Acid Mine Drainage

2FeS2(s) + 7O2(g) + 2H2O(l) →

2Fe2+(aq) + 4SO42-(aq) + 4H+(aq)


Building environmental safeguards during mining

Building Environmental Safeguards During Mining


Reclamation of sulfide mines flambeau mine ladysmith wi

Reclamation of Sulfide MinesFlambeau Mine, Ladysmith, WI

Before (~1990)

After (2005)

During (1993-1997)


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

Copper and Nickel Resources of the Duluth Complex

WORLD CLASS!

That will be mined....

SOMEDAY

Hulbert & Ekstrand, 2008


Sustainability and stewardship of mineral resources in minnesota

STEWARDSHIP: the individual’s responsibility to manage his life and property with proper regard to the rights of others

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1987)

Responsible stewardship of mineral resources demands that we make sensible and fair choices of where, how, and when to acquire critical resources we need for today and for the future.


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