A tale of tailings: Eagle Mine seeks permit change related to waste dumped in Humboldt pit – by Lisa Bowers (The Mining Journal – December 3, 2017)


ISHPEMING — Area residents were given the opportunity Monday to weigh in on a proposed change in operations at the Eagle Mine’s Humboldt Tailings Disposal Facility.

Lundin Mining Corp., the parent company of the Eagle Mine, requested an amendent to a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality permit issued in 2010 which would allow the company to place tailings, the waste material generated when processing ore, at a higher elevation than what is currently permitted in the Humboldt pit.

The orignal permit required the surface elevation of tailings not to exceed 1,420 feet above sea level in the 350 foot-deep Humboldt pit. The proposed amendment, if approved, would allow tailings to reach 1,515 feet above sea level.

The additional deposits would result in a water depth of about 20 to 25 feet from the surface of the pit to the tailings at the closure of mine operations.

Lundin Mining began depositing sulfide-rich, nickel-ore tailings from the Eagle Mine into the water-filled pit in 2014. The practice is expected to continue until the mine closes early next decade. The exact date is dependent, in part, on whether a more recently discovered ore deposit called Eagle East is extracted.

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