I’m sure that some people will see this as a “political” post, but it’s very much in line with Michigan in Pictures’ 11 year focus on the promotion AND protection of Michigan’s natural beauty. In other words, I will never stop speaking up when I believe decisions are being made that jeopardize this state that I love. Mineral mining, particularly the sulfide mineral mining that is sweeping the UP, is among the most polluting activities, and in my opinion, is totally out of bounds within a state park. If you are interested in opposition to this and in learning about acid mine drainage and its impact on groundwater, streams, rivers and lakes, including Lake Superior, I encourage you to visit the Mining Action Group.
On Monday, the Michigan DNR released this troubling story about exploratory drilling at Porcupine Mountains State Park:
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued a use permit to Orvana Resources U.S. Corp. – a subsidiary of Highland Copper – to conduct exploratory drilling on a 1-mile-square piece of property situated along the westernmost edge of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Gogebic County.
The exploratory drilling began Sunday and is scheduled to continue into early March, depending on weather conditions.
“This drilling project will affect a very small portion of DNR-managed land,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “The vast majority of the park, including the Presque Isle River, will remain unaffected by this exploration activity.”
If the exploration results indicate the potential for copper in suitable quality and minable quantities, Highland Copper would conduct a feasibility study, designed to mine the deposit entirely by underground methods, allowing the company to gain access to the copper ore body from land it owns outside the park.