A massive vein of high-yield copper ore was discovered this week at a highway construction project in Plymouth, Minnesota. Heavy equipment operators spotted a strange, greenish substance as they were digging near an overpass being constructed in the Minneapolis suburb. Department of Transportation engineers were called in to inspect the substance, and suspecting a copper compound, then brought in a geologist from the University of Minnesota, who confirmed that the mineral was indeed malachite, a high-grade copper ore.
While copper ore deposits have been mined in parts of northeastern Minnesota in the past, never before has it been found in any other part of the state. Finding any mineral in the Twin Cities metro was unheard of.
Construction of the highway has been suspended while geologists try to determine the extent of the ore, and to decide how best to excavate and monetize it. One geologist believes that with the soaring prices for copper, the ore lying beneath the roadway could easily out-value the cost of the highway itself, creating a massive windfall for the state.
After hearing the news, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was giddy with excitement. “With a five billion dollar state deficit, we’re happy to tap into any new sources of non-tax revenue we can get our hands on,” exclaimed the Governor. “This exciting and unexpected find will help alleviate the tax burden of our citizens.”
Indeed, as geologists continue to discover the expanse of the rich ore deposits, attorneys for the Department of Transportation are considering condemnation proceedings for the surrounding residential properties in order to mine the valuable ore. Mining experts believe that upwards of 100 homeowners may be displaced as mining operations begin.