Last-ditch attempt to block start of only US nickel mine

The Columbus Republic reports opponents of a planned nickel and copper mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are asking a judge to put a state-issued permit for the project on hold ahead of initial blasting expected later this month.

Four organizations have asked a judge to issue a stay while considering an appeal of the Department of Environmental Quality’s 2007 decision to grant Kennecott Eagle Minerals, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, a permit. Kennecott Eagle is targeting an underground ore deposit that would be the only US mine where nickel is the primary mineral generated instead of a byproduct. The mine could yield up to 300 million pounds of nickel and about 200 million pounds of copper.

The Columbus Republic quotes Susan LaFerniere, a member of the Keweenaw tribe and one of the organisations taking legal action: “My people have prayed and held ceremonies at Eagle Rock since time immemorial No one should be allowed to blast it apart. I hope the judge grants this request.”

Image is of Miner’s Castle in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior.

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