Letter: …For us mining guys, we can only hope that our side gets a fair shake in the courts and that our lawyers prove to be every bit as clever as you.

Letter to the editor:
My Response to Becky Rom:
In the last few months, Becky Rom, has penned numerous letters to the Ely Echo that, at first blush, use questionable data and accusations. Based on her reoccurring playlist of talking points, I have comments and questions for Becky. Change your strategy, you’ve become too predictable.
You fixate on the phrase “sulfide-ore mining.” Literally, you mention it everywhere. Are you actually telegraphing your consent that “oxide-ore mining” is an acceptable method of mining?
Here’s a fact that never rolls off your pen or your lips; that TMM has less than 2% sulfide in its porphyry, and that PolyMet has only .8 of 1% sulphide. Truthfully, the sulfur issue regarding these two mines shouldn’t even be getting an honorable mention.
Of course, all of this is made to matter since sulfur, when exposed to oxygen (air and water) morphs into sulfuric acid and a sulphide or sulfate in volume can be the end result. A few years ago, Bobby Tamman, an anti-mining voice on the Range, used a calibrated instrument called a Siemens meter, an instrument that measures the electrical conductance of water; contaminated mine drainage for example. Tamman tested the creek that flows out of the former LTV Dunca pit; a pit that is being used as a storage basin for a large tonnage of porphyry ore that contained the desired minerals that TMM would like to extract today. Tamman posted his results from the creek that indicated a reading of 1,000, an ominous sounding number. But is it really that bad? The average conductivity of tap water in the United States is about 100 units. However, the conductivity of tap water can range as low as 0.5 in some areas to over 1,000 in others. Even with unhampered waste water, it registered near the high side of tap water. The storage pile leaching into Birch Lake has been doing so for over 50 years when the ore was taken from a deep shaft near the Kawishiwi River. The ore was excavated for testing (I presume crushing and smelting) with the remainder being the substantial storage pile which should contain some level of sulfur. Of importance, the ore had been sitting and leaching into Bob’s bay on Birch Lake. And yet today, the creek would pass for tap water. It’s a shame that Tamman didn’t take readings from 100, 200, and 500 meters out from the creek mouth as it emptied into Birch Lake. I suspect the 1000 unit reading on the meter would drop quickly due to dilution of constantly moving lake water; key word being dilution.
You fixate on the phrase “Toxic-Tailings” even when we know that the TMM mine is considered a dry mine since no water has been discovered during the core drilling process (during core drilling is my assumption).
The TMM waste material will be dry stacked, any waste that even hints of sulfide will go back into the depths of the mine and encased in cement till the end of time. And that which will be left on the ground will be sold as a washed and crushed commodity and sold to companies that use copious amounts in asphalt and concrete projects. (NOTE: here in Brazil, two zinc mines I worked at sell all their dry tails to the cement industry). Any surface-stored gangue will eventually be sculpted to follow the surrounding terrain, covered with top soil and planted with native flora and vegetation. Prudent reclamation. Again, anything with a trace of sulfur goes back in the mine to be encased in concrete for all eternity.
The assumed corruption of Ivanka Trump and the Luksic family over a house rental: Contrary to your continuous attempts to vilify the Trump/Luksic families, the rental property in the Kalorama neighborhood near Georgetown is a non-issue. An agency for Luksic was looking to purchase a house in this area for one of the Luksic corporations. They found one that was built in 1923 and paid $5.5 million for the little fixer-upper. The house was gutted to the studs and remodeled. Upon completion, a second agency went looking for a house to rent for their client, the Trump/Kushner team.
A mandatory requirement was that it must be close to the US Capitol. Both Trump and Kushner now had offices in the east wing. The house the agency located was actually a few minute walk to work. Both agencies feel that the owner/renter did not know each other at the time of the contract signing by their respective agencies. The house was rented for $15,000 a month- the neighborhood was perfect.
The Obama’s purchased a home across the street and at the other end of the block. Jeff Bezos (Amazon) purchased a home a few blocks away as did former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. This neighborhood was a bastion of the most elite pols in government. This neighborhood was perfect.
This house was strictly a business deal for Luksic; nothing more/nothing less. Today the house is valued at nearly $7 million and people would fight to have it. It is currently rented for $18,000 a month. As for the Trump/Kushner family, they followed the president to Florida. If they didn’t need to be close to the President in the first place, they would still be in New York. The Kushner’s purchased a lot on a private island and are waiting for their new house to be completed. Can’t wait to see the house since the lot cost $32 million. Really Becky, there is no story here and to make one up is petty.
The assumed corruption between Luksic and his Paraguayan partner, Horacio Cortes: Cortes is a former Paraguayan President. This one took some work, and it’s a spider web of global connections, most of which are not good.
Luksic has a company that deals in Paraguay with gas stations, fuel distribution, beer brewery’s and sports drink companies and tobacco products. Cartes was the partner in tobacco products, fuel and distribution of both. The US has been investigating Cartes on terrorism connections since he uses a Venezuelan owned Boeing 747 freight hauler with stops in numerous Central American countries. The crew consists of 14 Venezuelan and 5 Iranian men. The pilot is a guy named Ghasemi, an active member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. And this is where the terrorism concerns come from and why the US has been investigating this operation. Street gossip says he may have been dropping off terrorists in these countries to cross our open border, but again, this is only gossip. Regardless, the 747 is being held in Buenos Aires by the Argentinean government.
Luksic’s partner, Horacio Cartes was a walking example of greed and stupidity. The good news is that Luksic’s skirts are clean. In June, Luksic flew to Asuncion with four of his directors and met with Cartes. Three hours later, they were headed home to Chile, the partnership was in shambles and Luksic kept the beer and fuel business. Luksic was not getting dragged into the spider web that he didn’t even know existed.
Regarding your legal deposition and knowledge of the law. I know nothing of the law and you’re the lawyer so I have to assume your legalese is laid out in a path that you can justify. For us mining guys, we can only hope that our side gets a fair shake in the courts and that our lawyers prove to be every bit as clever as you.
You’re a Ranger Becky. Like it or not, your roots and your blood run deep where you live. If you wanted to destroy an industry, fine.
But you will also kill the Arrowhead and our 150 year old Ranger culture. Do you really want that as your legacy?
We can do this. It can be done surgically. We can do it now, or the Chinese can do it later, but it’s getting extracted. Our lives are temporary, our legacies are forever.
Bob Colombo
Ouro Preto, MG, Brazil