Lance Tripoli 
Member since Jan 30, 2014


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Re: “Downing

The idea for future mining operations in this area, needs to be dismissed.
Copper of significantly higher purity, is available right out of the ground in other areas of the country. Upper Michigan is an excellent example of this. The geology in that area, has removed much of the work required to facilitate the concentration of this element before processing is necessary.

I have participated on tours in many of their wet and dry mine facilities. The Copper is concentrated in veins, in fault lines which run at approximately a 20 to 50 degree strike angles in this area. In addition, the Earths crust runs much deeper there as a supportive medium for these veins, which have been shown from past mining activity, to reach many thousands of feet down. The Copper I have seen there is of such purity, that pneumatic air drills cannot fracture the raw slabs and boulders. They are too soft. However the density/hardness of the rock medium there is exceptional, allowing for minimal use and construction of internal support structures to hold up the rock. This is only required to be done near the fault zones, from that observed. The intrinsic hardness of the surrounding rock also allows for reduced efforts in fracturing, to facilitate Copper extraction.

A number of the mines already have stopes constructed, which allow natural aspiration from above for workers there. While it is true that of the mines are flooded, many of these facilities are north of the Portage river, where this results from the weight of Lake Superior

The history of mining in Upper Michigan is as rich, if not more so, than with Arizona. Native Americans began mining Copper here, as far back as 5000 BCE to 12000 BCE. Representatives at all levels of government in this area, are excited and eager to have a mining company start operations back up there. Augusta Corporation would not have to face the obstacles, which they have to now, for the proposed facility near the Santa Rita mountains.

Web links follow, with current and historical information about some of the mines up in this area.

Michigan’s Nonferrous Metallic Mining Regulations - Part 632:
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/DEQ-OGS-metallic-mining-Part632_308856_7.pdf

Dry mine example: http://www.adventureminetours.com/

Flooded Mine example: http://www.quincymine.com/

Michigan Tech A.E. Seaman Mineral museum: http://www.museum.mtu.edu/information/information.htm

Keweenaw Peninsula Mineral Structure: http://www.minsocam.org/MSA/collectors_corner/vft/mi2a.htm

Keweenaw Peninsula Mining History: http://www.minsocam.org/MSA/collectors_corner/vft/mi3a.htm


Am aware of the difficulties this area has faced with the process of permit approvals. Was informed of this by staff from the Quincy mine and from staff at the A.E. Seaman mineral museum the last couple of summers up in the Houghton area. The difficulty with the permitting approval process in Upper Michigan, has stemmed principally from the impacts associated with flooding of some of the mines there, the requirement to pump this water out for improved operations safety and the fact that discharges would end up back in Lake Superior. You would have to do this on a continuing basis, which is an obvious flag for life dependent on this water source.

This has unfortunately 'shadowed' the potential success of Copper extraction form 'dry' mine sources and other potential areas south of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Up to now, this had been detrimental for mining in this area, because among other positive factors, the amount of harmful gasses is also greatly reduced for miners. Hopefully this will change soon. The differences in minerals there, contrasted with the constituent concentrations and associations of those found in the southwest, speak for themselves on this. From an additional safety standpoint, the critical component of mine access, has already been constructed. Renovation would be required, but it is certainly cheaper than doing it from scratch in some cases. Copper is there for at least thousands of feet further down, as a result of the Earths crust, which is thicker in this region of the northern United States.

Copper material from the southwest United States, has been shown to typically run at a much lower natural grade. This has historically led to the requirement for extraction of massive volumes of overburden and bedrock, to achieve meaningful amounts of net yield for the consumer. As a consequence, another unfortunate requirement is the use of toxic chemicals to facilitate refinement. While not speaking to inherent costs alone to meet environmental restrictions, these chemicals are also expensive because the elements that constitute their makeup are rare. By contrast, far lesser amounts of these chemicals would be required for refinement of the Copper from Upper Michigan.

The release of Radon gas is another unfortunate attribute in this region of the southwest. Bisbee is currently facing termination of its public mine tours just south of its historic district, for this reason. While it is understood this is an underground mine, one may recall the mobile home park just east of Globe, that had to be condemned in the 1980's, due to the presence of extremely high levels of Radon gas detected there. Not the nicest odor coming out of the open pit mine south of the historic district as well. Bisbee is also unable to draw water from local aquifers and has to have it piped in from out of the area. Fear this will likely also end up happening to residents near the Santa Rita Mountains, as a consequence of the proposed Rosemont operation.

In light of mounting opposition to the proposed Rosemont project, In recent years, investors have begun posing the question to Augusta corporation, to purchase permits in the Upper Michigan area. Their response was cost. It is difficult to imagine how that decision would result in greater overall expense for their operation, in point considering:

1. Augusta Corporation has no cost for tangible infrastructure in place
at the proposed site.

2. Reduction in costly chemicals required for refinement at Mainland Upper
Michigan locations, compared with that ultimately required at the proposed
Rosemont site.

3. Reduced overall environmental impacts in this area, with a requirement
for lesser amounts of these chemicals.

4. Absence of ground water seepage in/out of mainland dry mines by virtue of their
location south of the Peninsula.

5. Reduced fuel expenses from mining in a much smaller area. It is understood that
this of course, changes with depth.

The Copper from Upper Michigan is impressive. Many large slabs, intrusions and small boulders are evident out of these veins, especially with the long tour available of the Adventure Copper Mine alone.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Lance Tripoli on 01/30/2014 at 4:31 PM

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