The Lands and Minerals Division (LAM) Environmental Research Program performs objective research studies that evaluate the environmental effects of mining in Minnesota. Research performed is pursuant to provisions of Minnesota Statutes, Sections 93.001 and 93.44 to 93.51 and Minnesota Rules, Chapters 6130, 6131, and 6132 (Mineland Reclamation Rules). The goal of the Environmental Research Program is to continuously improve the foundation of knowledge used to provide science-based guidance for environmental review and permit decisions for mining and reclamation in Minnesota.
The research program seeks cooperation from the mining industry and their representatives, academia, federal and private research institutions, and other State agencies to enhance the scope and capability of the research conducted. Research results from this program are readily accessible to the public. The research program continuously educates staff on current research methods and technology to improve staff knowledge and fill knowledge gaps.
Much of the research is conducted in a clean laboratory or field site at the Hibbing research facility. The laboratory houses standard and customized mine waste weathering tests and provides equipment and space for analytical and sample preparation techniques. The Hibbing field research site hosts large scale waste rock weathering tests, a treatment building, weather station, and additional space for more experiments. Collectively, these facilities provide the means to conduct research experiments relevant to the unique mining environment of Minnesota.