As Michigan’s newest mine in decades, we’re dedicated to keeping our employees safe, protecting the environment, and being a responsible community member. Eagle is the nation’s only primary nickel mine and is expected to produce 360 million pounds of nickel, 295 million pounds of copper and small amounts of other metals over its mine life (2014 to mid-2025). On the surface Eagle Mine encompasses roughly 150 acres, similar to a small 18 hole golf course. The ore body is accessed via a mile long decline tunnel, which starts off going east from the site and then turning to meet the orebody to the west of the surface facilities. The ore will be removed using an underground mining method called “long-hole stope mining”. Stopes are horizontal, open spaces created as ore is removed. Every other stope is mined and backfilled to maintain integrity before mining the surrounding stopes. When mining operations are completed, restoration will be implemented quickly and efficiently. In order to preserve the environment, it’s our goal to see that any land that has been disrupted during the mining process is returned to a natural state.
The Humboldt Mill is a historic brownfield site built by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company in the 1950’s for milling of iron ore from their adjacent open pit mine. Cleveland Cliffs ceased operations in the early 1980’s and the pit began to naturally fill with water. The property was sold to Callahan Mining Company who began milling gold from the Ropes Gold Mine in 1985. Callahan used the pit to dispose of tailings underwater until operations ceased in the early 1990’s. The last company to use the Mill was Mineral Processing Corporation, and for over a decade, the Mill sat idle, falling to disrepair. In 2008, Eagle’s former owner Rio Tinto purchased the Humboldt Mill. Eagle obtained the permits necessary to refurbish and operate the Mill in 2010 and thus invested more than $5 million to clean-up past mining waste. Construction and equipment upgrades to the Mill began in 2012 to prepare the facility for production in 2014. Over $275 million was invested to bring the historic Mill back into operations. The Mill uses conventional crushing, grinding, and floatation methods to produce separate nickel and copper concentrates. Approximately 2,000 metric tonnes of ore will be milled per day. By utilizing the Humboldt Mill, we are able to extract more nickel and copper at lower grades. This leads to a better use of the mineral resource, more taxes and a longer mine life.