Eagle Mine is an underground, high-grade nickel and copper mine located in western Marquette County of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is the first mine to be permitted under Michigan’s Part 632 Non-Ferrous Mineral Mining Law. The mine is expected to produce 365 million pounds of nickel, and 295 million pounds of copper, and trace amounts of other minerals over its estimated mine life (2014 – Q4 2023).
Lundin Mining is a diversified base metals mining company with operations and projects in Chile, Portugal, Sweden, and the U.S.A. producing copper, zinc, lead, and nickel. In addition, Lundin Mining holds an indirect 24% equity stake in the Freeport Cobalt Oy business, which includes a cobalt refinery located in Kokkola, Finland. About Lundin
is to produce high-quality nickel and copper with industry best practices in safety, environmental protection and community engagement for modern mining.
Safety: We hold health and safety as our top priority in everything we do.
Respect: We embrace diversity, inclusion, open dialogue, and collaboration.
Integrity: We do what is right and honor our commitments.
Excellence: We set high standards and challenge ourselves to deliver superior performance.
The History of Eagle
Throughout this period, exploration in the Upper Peninsula was focused heavily on copper occurrences in and around Marquette. As with most exploration programs, priorities changed over time and attention was shifted to giant copper deposits in the southwestern United States.
The Geological Survey Division of the Michigan DNR led mineral surveys in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Institute of Mineral Research at Michigan Technological University. Results of the survey identified rock types commonly associated with nickel mineralization around the world.
Kennecott returned to Michigan in the late 1980’s looking for zinc deposits. Low-grade zinc occurrences were located; however, sightings of nickel and copper sulphides set Kennecott on a path to discover what we now call the Eagle deposit.
Rio Tinto Kennecott obtains state mineral leases which marked the beginning of exploration on the Yellow Dog Plains.
Eagle ore body was discovered.
Michigan passed the Non-Ferrous Metallic Mining Law.
Eagle becomes the first mine to be permitted under the new mining law.
Humboldt Mill is purchased and cleanup of past mining activities occurred throughout 2012.
Surface construction began at Eagle Mine.
Underground construction began at Eagle Mine.
Refurbishment and construction started at Humboldt Mill.
Lundin Mining Corporation purchases Eagle from Rio Tinto.
Production began in September of 2014. Eagle Mine came into production on time and on budget; a feat in the mining industry or any large scale project.
Eagle Mine is a 24/7 operation processing approximately 2,000 metric tons of ore per day.
Eagle East is discovered. The discovery is located approximately two kilometers east of the Eagle deposit.
Exploration in the regional Upper Peninsula begins.
Eagle Mine is comprised of members who have a broad range of knowledge and experience in the mining industry. Our leadership sets Eagle’s strategic direction while maintaining a culture that is built on professionalism and transparency.
We won’t be remembered for how much ore we mined or the amount of concentrate we produced – we’ll be remembered for providing a safe place to work, protecting the environment and being transparent with the community. We will achieve that by following our Responsible Mining Framework and Policy.The Framework The Policy
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Eagle Mine?
Eagle Mine is a high-grade, underground mine that produces nickel and copper. In addition, the mine is a Greenfield project, meaning that it had not been mined previously.
Who is responsible for enforcing mining regulations to ensure compliance with laws?
The Environment, Great Lakes & Energy Department (EGLE) has primary responsibility for enforcing compliance with all air, water and mining regulations, as well as mine reclamation once mining is complete. The mining regulations are administered by the Office of Geological Survey (OGS) pursuant to the statutory requirements of Part 632, of the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended MCL 324.6301. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) enforces health and safety procedures for all underground operations at Eagle.
Do Eagle’s permits meet the rules and regulations of Michigan’s Metallic Hard Rock Mining Law?
Yes. Eagle was designed to meet or exceed the rules and requirements of the Michigan Non-Ferrous Metallic Mining Law and has received all the necessary state permits. We strongly supported the establishment of strict standards and regulations for non-ferrous metallic mining before submitting applications to the EGLE for the Eagle Mine and Humboldt Mill. These regulations provide the company with clear standards that must be met for mining to occur; they provide the public with assurances that requirements for environmental protection are being met. Eagle does not require federal permits.
What is financial assurance and how is the amount determined?
Michigan law provides a specific methodology for determining the appropriate amount of financial assurance of each proposed mining project. Financial assurance guarantees that there are sufficient funds to pay for the clean-up, closure, and post-closure of mining operations. For Eagle, a surety bond for roughly $25 million on the mine and $25 million on the mill has been paid by Lundin with the State named as a beneficiary.
What is a metallic mineral mine?
A metallic mineral mine is an orebody formed in the presence of naturally occurring sulfur. This type of orebody contains minerals such as pentlandite (a nickel mineral) and chalcopyrite (a copper mineral). Sulfide is not mined but is host to these important minerals and metals.
Why are metallic mineral mines important?
Metallic mineral mines are important because the overwhelming majority of base metals such as copper, nickel, silver, lead, and zinc come from sulfide orebodies. These metals are essential to our economy and provide the foundation for the production of basic construction materials, electronics, and power distribution.
What is nickel used for?
Nickel is one of the most important and strategic base metals used in our society. It is used to make everything from cars and appliances to aeronautics and high tech medical instruments, to household batteries and environmentally friendly hybrid cars. Nickel is what gives stainless steel its exceptional strength and corrosion resistant properties. These, along with many other products are critical to our nation’s economy.
What is copper used for?
Copper, with its principal alloys, bronze, and brass, have an important role in our society. It is used for things like plumbing, electrical wiring, wind turbines, and medical equipment. Copper can be easily shaped, molded, rolled into sheets, or drawn into thin wire. It does not easily rust, is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, and is 100% recyclable. In many respects, modern life would not be possible without copper.
In what ways will the Eagle Mine benefit our community?
At Eagle Mine, we are committed to leaving a positive impact on the community for generations to come. One of our original commitments to the community was a 75 percent local hire goal. Today, more than 85 percent of our direct and indirect hires come from the Upper Peninsula. It is estimated that between 2011 and 2025, Eagle Mine’s direct and indirect impact will generate an additional $4.3 billion for Michigan’s economy ($4 billion for Marquette County). Eagle will also provide $570 million in local procurement and $240 million in state/local taxes and royalties over the life of the mine. We’ve also started initiatives like Accelerate U.P. to help combat the boom and bust cycle of mining by creating jobs outside of the industry.
What percentage of jobs are drawn from the local community?
One of Eagle’s original commitments to the community was a 75 percent local hire goal. After one year of operations, more than 80% of our roughly 200 direct employees were hired from the Upper Peninsula (U.P.). With the U.P. history in mining, we will have a wealth of skilled and experienced miners, engineers, mechanics and other qualified workers with the right knowledge, and responsibility for the safety we seek.
How is Lundin ensuring an environmentally safe mine?
Environmental responsibility and protection is a priority. In line with our Environment Policy and Associated Standards, we have developed and implemented a number of programs at Eagle focused on air quality, ecosystems services, biodiversity, climate change, energy, land, water, waste, and closure. These programs include input from our local communities as well as from experts in these fields. We’ve studied the ore body and surrounding area to determine the best approach to development with minimal surface disturbance. We also developed demonstrated measures that protect important groundwater and surface water bodies. Two separate but complementary systems — a multi-lined storage area for rock brought to the surface for temporary storage and a water treatment plant — work together to ensure water discharged back to the environment is safe. Both were created to prevent any water that comes into contact with the development rock from entering groundwater or nearby surface water bodies. Water from the site is treated to better than drinking water quality before being discharged.
What is the Community Environmental Monitoring Program?
The mining industry isn’t always thought of as being upfront when it comes to reporting on environmental impacts. At Eagle Mine, we aim to change that perception by participating in a progressive approach to transparency called the Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP). At that heart of the CEMP are two well-known and trusted community organizations, Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) and the Marquette County Community Foundation (MCCF). SWP monitors Eagle’s environmental performance and reports back to the community while MCCF ensures that the program funding is at arm’s length. Eagle Mine has committed to fund CEMP from 2013 to 2015, in the amount of $300,000 per year, with intent to renew after 2015. With this model, we’re confident the U.P. is setting a new benchmark for community oversight of modern mining.
What happens when mining ends?
When mining operations cease at Eagle Mine, our efforts will be focused on reclaiming the land to its natural state. In order to preserve the environment, any land that was disrupted during the mining process will be restored quickly and efficiently. Per our permit, everything including concrete, buildings, power lines, asphalt, etc., must be taken out. Community input is important to consider prior to reclamation activities. Reclamation will take roughly 5-7 years and post-closure environmental monitoring lasting 20 years.