The Fight for Water & Treaty Rights in the Great Lakes

The Eagle Mine | MI

Status | Active - Kennecott/Rio Tinto completed drilling to the ore body in spring, 2013. The operation was sold to Toronto-based Lundin Mining. Lundin started production in September, 2014.

Location | The Yellow Dog Plains, near Marquette, MI

Type of Mine | underground – copper, nickel with gold, cobalt, palladium and platinum

Estimated Mine Life | 8 years

Anticipated Output |  295 million pounds copper/8 years, 360 million pounds nickel/8 years

Concerns |

  • The minerals lie within a sulfide ore body. When brought to the surface and exposed to air and water this waste rock could cause acid mine drainage.
  • The ore body lies directly below the Salmon Trout River, which flows into Lake Superior. There are concerns that the design of the mine will lead to a collapse that would injure workers and send the river through the sulfide ore body, thereby polluting the waters.
  • The leaching of heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and manganese can contaminate the water and fish population. Ingesting contaminated water and fish can lead to birth defects and neurological damage in children.
  • Many are concerned that Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality does not have the funding to adequately enforce the laws that regulate metallic sulfide mining in the state.
  • The portal to the mine has been bored directly below Eagle Rock, an Anishinaabe sacred place. Mining operations surround the site. While Eagle Rock is not closed to the Native American community, access to it is strictly regulated making it difficult for the regional indigenous community to exercise their traditional religious practices.

Projected Jobs Created |  300

Company Website |

State Agency Website | MDNR

Additional Information | The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and the National Wildlife Federation are actively monitoring this project.

Video |

Sacred Places: Eagle Rock | Jessica Koski tells the story of Eagle Rock, an Annishinaabe sacred place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that’s now surrounded by a copper mine.

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In The News

Rio Tinto Sale of Eagle Mine Finalized

Rio Tinto announced June 12, 2013, that it had sold the Eagle Mine, located near Marquette, Michigan, to Lundin Mining. The sale of the underground copper and nickel mine was subject to regulatory approvals. That sale is now complete. The portal to the ore body is located beneath Eagle Rock, an Anishinaabe sacred site. Many people are concerned about the

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Drilling Ends at Eagle Mine

As reported in Upper Michigan, “The Rio Tinto Eagle Mine now has a depth of approximately 800 feet…[and] the mine has now moved on to the next phase…” Read More at,

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