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New Survey Reaffirms Strong Support for Copper-Nickel Mining in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 1, 2018) – MiningMinnesota today released results from a statewide survey that reinforce public support in Minnesota for copper-nickel mining and strong support for allowing projects to be proposed and follow a rigorous environmental review process.

Statewide voters favor building new copper-nickel mines in Northeast Minnesota (44 percent), compared to 38 percent opposed. While in the 8th Congressional District, a majority of voters (57 percent) support copper-nickel mining, whereas only 28 percent oppose this type of mining.

After learning about the thousands of jobs and billions in economic investment from copper-nickel mining based on the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s estimates for the industry, a majority of Minnesotans (56 percent) support allowing mining companies to explore and develop copper-nickel mines, whereas only 38 percent opposed. In Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District the support was even stronger, with 63 percent expressing support, and only 31 percent opposed.

“Overall, consistent with previous statewide survey results, Minnesotans continue to favor developing copper-nickel mines in Minnesota,” said MiningMinnesota Executive Director Frank Ongaro. “It was also clear that Minnesotans see tremendous value in the economic potential of this industry and overwhelmingly support a project’s right to go through a rigorous environmental review process as a part of demonstrating they can meet environmental standards.”

The majority of voters across the state (64 percent) expressed trust that state and federal environmental agencies would ensure that mining is done safely and responsibly. In the 8th Congressional District, 69 percent stated this trust, with only 29 percent disagreeing.

Furthermore, when asked to choose from two opinions, more than two-thirds of voters (70 percent) believe potential copper-nickel mining proposals in Minnesota should be allowed to go through the rigorous state and federal environmental review process and granted permits if environmental protection standards are met. This compares to just 26 percent of voters who held the opinion that potential copper-nickel mining projects should be prohibited before being proposed. Support increases to 76 percent in the 8th Congressional District, and only 22 percent opposed.

The majority of voters (54 percent) also believe potential copper-nickel projects should continue to be allowed within the boundaries of the Superior National Forest, but outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, if those projects meet all state and federal environmental laws and regulations. Support increases in the 8th Congressional District with 62 percent, compared to 36 percent opposed.

Finally, statewide voters overwhelmingly agree (83 percent) that copper-nickel mining projects will create hundreds of well-paying jobs in the state, and they agree (73 percent) that new technologies will make the mining process safer and cleaner.

The survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and commissioned by MiningMinnesota. The telephone survey was completed April 3-5, 2018, among 500 registered voters statewide, with 200 cell phone respondents, and an oversample of 300 registered voters in the 8th Congressional District. The statewide poll has a margin of error of 4.38 percent.

Memo: Key Findings – Statewide Survey in Minnesota

About MiningMinnesota
MiningMinnesota is committed to sustainable and environmentally responsible mining of copper, nickel and precious metals. Driven by a diverse coalition of organizations, companies and individuals, MiningMinnesota works with local citizens, businesses and other organizations to bring growth and job creation to the state through responsible development of natural resources. MiningMinnesota seeks to provide the facts about copper, nickel and precious-metals mining in our state and offer a way for people to get involved and show support. Learn more at www.miningminnesota.com.

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