- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - A Canadian mining company is seeking a mineral lease from the state of Michigan for 320 acres of land in the Upper Peninsula.

The metallic mineral lease request from North American Nickel Inc. is for land in northern Marquette County, The Mining Journal of Marquette (https://bit.ly/1KFIKF1 ) reported. The state Department of Natural Resources got the request in late June, and public comments are being accepted through Oct. 12.

Agency property specialist Karen Maidlow said the lease doesn’t necessarily mean exploration or development will happen. A lessee would have to get permits required under federal, state and local laws to explore or mine. Such development at the site is opposed by environmental group Save the Wild U.P.

“This area is a delicate watershed and is no place for mineral exploration or industrial growth,” said Alexandra Maxwell, executive director of the environmental group.

Maxwell said the area contains wetlands and small streams that feed the Yellow Dog and Salmon Trout rivers, as well as a forest of jack pine trees.



North American Nickel spokeswoman Jaclyn Ruptash said the company doesn’t have a mineral lease in Michigan, and can’t comment on the use of such a lease.

The request for a metallic mineral lease is for property located north and west of the Eagle Mine in Michigamme Township. The Eagle Mine is the only metallic mineral lease issued for state land under which minerals are being produced, Maidlow said.

“The lease is not in and of itself an authorization to explore or mine, so the lessee would have to obtain all permits required under federal, state and local government laws,” Maidlow said.

Prior to any exploration or mining, North American Nickel would be required to develop exploration or mining and reclamation plans to be approved by the DNR, as well as receive related permitting from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

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Information from: The Mining Journal, https://www.miningjournal.net

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