BARAGA AND HOUGHTON COUNTIES– Eagle Mine has been drilling for nickel and copper in northern Marquette County since 2013. Looking for new locations to expand their operation, Eagle used special equipment, flying over Houghton and Baraga Counties to discover pockets of these minerals.
“Last year we did the aerial exploration survey and in May of this year in 2019 we had drillings on the ground doing active exploration drilling,” said Matt Johnson, External Relations Manager, Eagle Mine.
Their search for nickel and copper was Eagle Mine’s only one like it in the state. Johnson says the decision to stop the survey came down to cost, time and data.
“Exploration programs are constantly being evaluated for the chance of success and the investment that it requires,” said Johnson “For example, since 2013 we’ve been able to invest $93 million in surface exploration here at Eagle Mine and so when you’re talking about investments and your chance of success and the time that it may take to find any type of meaningful mineralization, we have chosen at this time to conclude the program.”
With 430 employees in total at the mine, the twelve-person team’s work is not done with Eagle Mine.
“There’s still some work to do with the underground exploration that we continue to invest in at Eagle East,” said Johnson. “Otherwise, employees who are directly impacted by the conclusion of our regional exploration program will be considered for other positions here at Eagle Mine or elsewhere within Lundin.”
As the underground definition drilling efforts continue at Eagle East, Johnson hopes that this could potentially extend Eagle Mine’s operational life beyond 2023.