LANSING — A bill that changes the way small native copper mines are regulated has been passed by the Michigan Senate.

Senate Bill 591, sponsored by Senator Tom Casperson, passed with a 25 to 13 vote on Tuesday. Attempts to amend the bill with language regarding a requirement for public meetings for mining permit applications were unsuccessful.

Casperson said the bill is intended to lessen the number of hoops that smaller operations have to jump through to mine for copper. The bill will now head to the House of Representatives.