New York Times:
Is it a question of what is more important? Is the answer to this question dependent on the time horizon? Where are the best places to get our metals that each of us use? These types of questions we wrestle with as a community, and of course there are no easy answers. For us that value wilderness and lakes, we want to protect the quality of these valuable places and the risks associated with the mining are not worth it. For miners and would-be-miners, they wish to provide a means to support their family and enjoy the woods and lakes for recreation. They too do not do not want to destroy the quality of the lakes and wilderness. For the company, they wish to produce profits for the benefit of the CEO, other corporate cadgers, and shareholders. They don't wish to jeopardize those profits; however, the quality of the lakes and wilderness that remains after the extraction of precious metals is not important.