Opponents of a planned copper nickel mine are setting up shop in the tourist community of Ely this weekend, hoping to bring more local residents to their side of the mining debate.
The new center on the main thoroughfare is called "Sustainable Ely." Its workers will try to convince residents and tourists to urge President Obama to protect the regional environment from copper nickel mining.
Twin Metals Minnesota is planning a huge underground mine near Ely where it estimates more than $100 billion in copper, nickel and precious metals can be mined. Opponents are concerned the acidic runoff from mining operations will pollute the Boundary Waters.
Minnesota Public Radio News says proponents believe the mining can be done safely and will boost the region's economy.