Kennecott & Mine Opponents Respond to DEQ

Mine supporters and opponents react to the final state OK for Kennecott to mine nickel and copper in Marquette County.

The mine would be in Michigamme, in the Yellow Dog Plains area.

Kennecott’s goal is to start the mine construction later this year.

It’d take about 3 years to build everything needed for the Eagle Mine.

Then it would actually be in production for 7 years.

Kennecott Eagle project manager Jon Cherry says it’s not your grandfather’s mine.

He says building the job base through mining doesn’t have to come at the cost of environmental degradation anymore.

Cherry feels the company has come up with a way to accomplish that, and he says he’s pleased the DEQ agrees with them about it.

Still, the path to build it isn’t completely clear yet.

Kennecott still needs a federal permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Environmental groups say they’ll keep up the fight in the federal phase and also appeal the DEQ decision.

Michelle Halley is an attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, one of several groups fighting the mine-building effort.

She says the DEQ enlisted someone on their end who had not been part of the permitting process until now to step in and give the approval before the court system had run its course.

Halley says mine opponents still have a lawsuit against the project which is in the early stages of working its way through the Michigan Court of Appeals.

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