New England’s Finest Mining District

It appears the resurgence of mining activity in the U.S. is now spreading to some unexpected places.

States like Michigan and Minnesota have been in the news of late, trying to jumpstart their long-dormant minerals industries. But reports this week suggest another, further-afield state might be the next to make such a move.

Maine.

The state’s Board of Environmental Protection voted late last week to approve a new set of rules for mining. The first step in creating a legislative framework that could allow for new mines.

Although Maine is known today for lobsters and coastal tourism, it actually has a significant mining history. Evidenced by polymetallic deposits of copper, zinc, gold, and silver just across the border in eastern Canada.

Such deposits are known to exist in Maine. But they’ve been a complete no-go for decades.

The new rules are aimed at changing that. And it appears there is some political clout behind this pro-mining movement. Things are happening today in the sector because of a direct edict in 2012 from Governor Paul LePage. Who mandated the state Department of Environmental Protection to revamp its mining laws.

Last week’s proposed rules are the first step in that process. The changes must now go to a legislative committee. Then they’ll be considered by the full Maine legislature, for approval.

There’s no guarantee the measures will pass. But at the very least, this is yet another sign that more and more U.S. locales are looking to mining as a source of economic growth.

The next frontiers in minerals might come from some of these high-potential areas, that have gone unexplored for years.

Here’s to lobsters and lifting ore,

Dave Forest

dforest@piercepoints.com / @piercepoints / Facebook

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