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MINING DEVELOPMENTS: Copperwood Permit Issued

May 22, 2012

In April of 2012, MDEQ issued a mining permit under Part 632 of NREPA to Orvana Resources U.S. Corp for the proposed Copperwood Mine in Gogebic County.  The mining permit was issued for a non-ferrous metallic mineral (copper) mine.  The Copperwood permit is the second non-ferrous metallic mineral mining permit issued by MDEQ in recent years for this growing Michigan industry.  2011 Legislation Impacts Michigan Mining and Mineral Assessment Laws - In late 2011 two laws were passed in Michigan which change Michigan mining law and affect agency responsibility for geological assessment.  PA 214 of 2011 eliminated MDEQ oversight programs for nonmetallic mineral mining.  Minerals produced in nonmetallic mineral mines include gypsum, limestone, sandstone, and shale.  PA 167 of 2011 provided for the transfer of the geological survey functions of MDEQ to the Department of Geosciences of Western Michigan University.  Survey responsibilities include mapping Michigan's geological resources.  Dr. Alan Kehew at Western Michigan University has been appointed as the Director of the Survey.

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