Preserving the Yellow Dog Watershed
in its most natural state for the use of the public,
now, and for the benefit of future generations.

Eagle Mine Applies for another Metallic Minerals Lease from the state of Michigan in the Yellow Dog Watershed.

Citizen Action,Sulfide Mining

Eagle Mine Applies for Another Metallic Minerals Lease Next to Yellow Dog River

23 Oct , 2014  

A 40-acre parcel adjacent to the Yellow Dog River in Michigamme Township owned by the State of Michigan with underlying state-owned mineral rights could soon be leased for more mining development to Lundin Eagle Mine. The mining company applied for a Metallic Minerals Lease on this parcel, and the boundary lies less than half a mile of the Yellow Dog River stream bank on the plains. The legal description of the parcel is: NE1/4 SE1/4, Section 13, T50N, R29W.

Currently, the proposed lease is “development with restrictions.” The lease would allow for the use of the surface for metallic mineral exploration, development, or production under the conditions of the lease. The application has already been reviewed by the DNR Wildlife Division, DNR Forest Management Division, DNR Fisheries Division, and the State Archeologist. A public notice was not released until October 16th.

A mine in this location would have detrimental impact on wildlife habitat especially of the Kirtland’s Warbler, a Federal endangered species which thrives in young 6-15 year-old jack pine stands. Stands of this type and age exist adjacent to this parcel. It would also impact the habitat for the narrow-leaved gentian, a State threatened and legally protected species which has been known to inhabit wetland areas in this section. In addition, despite the fact that the river is not on this parcel, mining development in this location, will alter water quality in the river a few hundred feet away. There are several ways this can occur: 1.) the release of particulate matter, reactive sulfides, lead and arsenic, etc. in air emissions 2.) Groundwater contamination through underground operations and 3.) Surface water contamination from related infrastructure.  For these reasons, the application for leasing these minerals should be denied. If the minerals were ever extracted, the impact to the watershed would be too great.

Cumulative impacts are not being evaluated, and the impacts related to a mine on this parcel will never be contained in the 40-acres.

What can you do? You must act before the November 20, 2014, the deadline imposed by the state.

You can write your comments on this subject and send them to Karen Maidlow, Property Analyst, Minerals Management Office, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7952

Or, you can email Karen Maidlow: maidlowk@michigan.gov

Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve will be monitoring the progress of this application and contacting all of our partners in effort to discourage the validation of this lease request and prevent another mining facility from being constructed in a pristine watershed. There is potential for a public hearing regarding this lease and we will inform you if one is set.

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3 Responses

  1. JACK pARKER says:

    Twin Lakes Road
    Have you seen my recent email to MDNR on this topic?

    It asks them not to make any deals with the Eagle people – because they are criminals already. The company activities started with a fraudulent application for permits t./omine

  2. Mindy says:

    Hi Jack, We did not catch your recent email to the MDNR on this, but please forward, we need all hands on deck to tackle this new highly unpleasant twist.

  3. Dan Blondeau says:

    Jack & Mindy, There is no plan to develop a mine at the location of the proposed lease. If the lease is approved Eagle Mine may or may not perform exploration activities on the parcel. The location/lease has restrictions as to what activities can take place at the location, and the site continues to be overseen by the DNR and DEQ. Last but not least, exploration rarely leads to mining. We have been exploring the area for decades and the only mine that has been developed is Eagle.

    Dan Blondeau
    Eagle Mine

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