Rio Tinto Eagle Mine Can Continue Drilling
MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – A federal judge in Grand Rapids has rejected the Huron Mountain Club’s request for an injunction to immediately halt work at a new nickel and copper mine in Marquette County.
U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell issued his decision Wednesday after hearing arguments last month. The club filed a lawsuit in May claiming Kennecott Mineral Company never received a pair of federal permits it needed for its Eagle Mine that is being built underneath the Salmon Trout River.
The 123-year-old non-profit organization that operates a wildlife preserve along Lake Superior claims the mine will decrease the river’s flow, change its temperature and decrease the river’s reach to neighboring wetlands. The suit also faults the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies for failing to require the permits.
Kennecott got state approval for the project and says federal permits are unnecessary. The company has begun drilling and plans to start extracting minerals from the recently re-named Rio Tinto Eagle Mine late next year or in 2014. Meanwhile the club’s lawsuit works its way to trial.
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