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Great Lakes Article:

Where water goes
Duluth News Tribune
Published December 7th, 2004

All six Minnesota taconite processing plants have state permits to discharge water in some fashion from their taconite tailings

North Shore Mining, Silver Bay: Water from the tailings basin is pumped through a water treatment plant before being discharged into the Beaver River, which runs into Lake Superior. The treatment plant is designed to remove particulate matter and fibers from the water.

United Taconite, Forbes: Water seeps out of the tailings basin into a series of wetlands that are part of the St. Louis River watershed.

Ispat-Inland Steel, Virginia: Water from operations is going into an old mine pit that has not filled and does not need drainage. Water from an old tailings basin occasionally is discharged into the Wuori River, which flows into the Sandy River.

Minntac, Mountain Iron: From 100,000 to 500,000 gallons of water daily seeps out of the tailings basin into the Dark and Sandy rivers. Minntac wants to increase the discharge by pumping water out of the basins.

Hibbing Taconite, Hibbing: Some water seeps out of tailings basins; more is siphoned into the Shannon River, which flows into the Sturgeon River, which flows into the Rainy River.

Keewatin Taconite, Keewatin: Water from the plant flows into a series of reservoirs and storage basins. It's discharged about half the year into Welcome Creek, which flows into the Swan River, then into the Mississippi River.

SOURCE: Minnesota Pollution Control

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