Saturday, December 11, 2010

Angel Tree offers opportunity to help a teenager in need

The Angel Tree in the window of the Angel Mission Free Store in Calumet offers an opportunity to help a teenager in need. (Photos © 2010 Joanne Thomas for Keweenaw Now)

CALUMET -- The colorful Christmas tree in the window of the Angel Mission Free Store in Calumet is not just a decoration. Each angel represents a local teenager in need of a Christmas gift.

Stop in the Free Store, located at 201 Fifth Street in Calumet, choose a local teenager from the angel tree and buy that teen a Christmas gift. The angel provides the age of the boy or girl to help you shop for the gift.

The Angel Mission Free Store is here at 201 Fifth Street, Calumet.

The Angel Mission Free Store is open Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursdays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon.

All children on the Angel tree are local area teens in need. the Angel Mission Free Store is a project of the Copper Country Christian Fellowship, a Presbyterian-based, ecumenical storefront church at 301 Sixth Street, Calumet.

For more information please call Ann Normand, director, at 906-337-2659.

Sheriff Ron Lahti's "No Kid Without a Christmas" drive continues

Gifts donated for Keweenaw County Sheriff Ron Lahti's "No Kid Without a Christmas" drive pile up at Slim's Café in Mohawk. The program helps from 80 to 100 children in Keweenaw County. (Photo © 2010 Joanne Thomas for Keweenaw Now)

MOHAWK -- Keweenaw County Sheriff Ron Lahti's "No Kid Without a Christmas" program continues for another week with drop-off sites at Slim's Café in Mohawk, the Keweenaw County Sheriff's department in Eagle River, the Eagle Harbor Inn, the Bear Belly Bar and Grill in Lac La Belle and Superior National Bank in Mohawk.

Gifts can be for any age child. Parents prefer that the gifts be unwrapped. Cash donations are also accepted.

Read more about how you can help in Stacey Kukkonen's Daily Mining Gazette article.

Friday, December 10, 2010

PasiCats to host Pikkujoulu (Finnish Little Christmas) Dec. 12

Poster for Pikkujoulu (Finnish Little Christmas) to be held Sunday, Dec. 12, in Atlantic Mine. Click on image for larger version. (Poster courtesy PasiCats)

HANCOCK -- PasiCats will host the first ever Pikkujoulu (Finnish Little Christmas) from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12, at Brownstone Hall (old St. Mary's Hall) in Atlantic Mine.

Festivities will begin at 2:30 p.m. with a Christmas carol sing-along (both Finnish and English tunes). From 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. PasiCats will play music for a Holiday dance. Cover charge is $5. Children under 12 free admission.

The event is also a perfect time to enjoy Finnish coffee, glögi and bakeries provided by Finnsight and to fill up Santa's sack with Finnsight products, such as Finnish Christmas Cards, recipe magnets, shopping bags, etc. You can also get your own copy of the "Where's Valki?" CD.

Brownstone Hall is on Huron Street in Atlantic Mine (across from Top Dog Kennels).

Check out the Finnsight Web site for more information about their Finnish products.

Calumet holiday events continue Dec. 10-11

CALUMET -- Holiday activities this weekend include Santa's visits, musical programs, horse-drawn wagon rides and more.

A favorite holiday treat in Calumet is a horse-drawn wagon ride. Here a wagon turns onto historic Fifth Street in front of the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne's on Dec. 4. The wagon rides are free and continue this Saturday, Dec. 11, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (Photo © 2010 Joanne Thomas for Keweenaw Now)

Friday, Dec. 10:

6 p.m. -- Club Indigo dinner and film, the British fantasy/comedy Millions. The movie begins at 7:15 p.m., preceded at 6 p.m. by a gourmet British buffet (from Kangas Café, Hancock). Cost for buffet and movie, $18. Movie alone, $5. For seats at the buffet, call 337-2610. The film is sponsored by Nagamoon, a gift shop on 5th St, Calumet.

7 p.m. -- A Christmas Concert at the Calumet Art Center will feature vocalists Monica Rovano and Courtney Clisch, guitarist Cathy Isaacson, violinist Libby Meyer, and organist Kathleen Alatalo-Arten. The concert is a fundraiser to benefit the Art Center. A $5 donation is requested. The Calumet Art Center is located at 57055 Fifth Street, behind the Keweenaw Heritage Center in the white building with the spire.

Saturday, Dec. 11:

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. -- Visits with Santa and free goodie bags, Rowe Furniture

1 p.m. - 3 p.m. -- Watch for Santa and his "goodie bag," downtown locations

11 a.m. - 3 p.m. -- Free horse-drawn wagon rides; holiday music by strolling musicians, various downtown locations; carolers tour the downtown

7 p.m. -- Calumet High School senior play, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty, Calumet Theatre.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Nordic Film Series to present "A Christmas Story" Dec. 9

HANCOCK -- As part of the Nordic Film Series, the Finlandia University Finnish American Heritage Center will show the Finnish film Joulutarina (A Christmas Story) at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9.

A Christmas Story is a holiday film for the entire family. Set against a breathtaking landscape, this magical film reveals the untold childhood of Santa Claus. Dubbed in English, the film is about 90 minutes long.

There is no charge to attend the film, but donations are accepted. The Finnish American Heritage Center is at 435 Quincy St., Hancock. For information, call 487-7549.

UPDATED: Chassell to celebrate Old Fashioned Christmas Dec. 11

CHASSELL -- An Old Fashioned Christmas in Chassell will offer activities for the whole family on Saturday, Dec. 11, with activities at the Chassell Heritage Center, the Chassell School, the VFW, and the Einerlei gift shop.

Celebrate at the Chassell Heritage Center

Parents and grandparents help kids decorate Christmas cookies during the 2009 Old Fashioned Christmas at the Chassell Heritage Center. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

The Chassell Heritage Center will host an Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and kids can decorate their own cookies to take home.

Musician Dave Bezotte and friends Kora Johnson (fiddle), Bertha and Jack Rossberg (organ and violin), and Kay Seppala (flute) will play music at the Heritage Center between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

During Chassell's 2009 Old Fashioned Christmas, Santa joined musician Dave Bezotte (center at piano), the Maple Sugar Folk and Oren Tikkanen and friends in a musical program at the Chassell Heritage Center. This year Dave (and maybe Santa) will again join visiting musicians at the Heritage Center on Saturday, Dec. 11. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

Update: Also at the Heritage Center Friends of Fashion are featuring their exhibit: 100 Years of Wedding Apparel.

At 7 p.m. the Heritage Center will host a showing of the documentary Réveil -- Waking Up French, a powerful film that explores the struggle for cultural survival among the French-Canadian, Franco-American communities of New England. This documentary is relevant to everyone. As the melting pot attitude and globalization threatens diversity and the heritage of so many cultures, Réveil explores the struggle for cultural survival in the very heart of American monoculture. It reveals the importance of history and heritage understanding and demonstrates how languages can be reacquired for personal and community renewal that is truly inspiring. Free Admission. Sharing and discussion will follow with Evan Dixon, moderator. More information about the film is at http://www.wakingupfrench.com/.

The Chassell Heritage Center is at 2nd and Hancock Streets in Chassell. For more information contact Dave Bezotte at dbezotte@yahoo.com or (906)482-4956.

Update: Chassell School Events

At the Chassell School events begin with Breakfast with the Chassell High School Junior Class, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. For information contact the Chassell School at 523-4491.

A Holiday Handcrafts Bazaar will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chassell School. It will include a sale of locally made crafts as well as handicrafts and colorful calendars from Guatemala, presented by members of the Copper Country Guatemala Accompaniment Project, a human rights group. For information contact: Marvyl Wilson, 523-4115.

Parents and Teachers Together (PATT) will offer a cookie sale from 10 a.m. to noon at the Chassell School.

Enjoy a Chili Lunch and More! with the Chassell High School Senior Class from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Chassell School.

Update: Storytelling, cookies and hot chocolate around the tree from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the VFW Home.

At the Einerlei

The Einerlei gift shop will host a book signing with Lon Emerick from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for his new book, Paradise North -- Seasons in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Update: The Home for the Holidays House Tour and Gourmet Tasting will take place from noon until 5 p.m. Tickets ($10) are available the Einerlei in Chassell, Chassell Heritage Center, and the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau in Calumet. For information contact Nancy Leonard, 523-4612.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Houghton Dems to hold potluck luncheon Dec. 11 for U.S. Rep. Stupak

HOUGHTON -- the Houghton County Democratic Committee is hosting a potluck luncheon at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 11, in honor of Congressman Bart Stupak, who will be in town to deliver the commencement address to Michigan Tech graduates Saturday morning.

The potluck will be held at the Super 8 Motel in Houghton.

Beverages and dessert will be provided. If you would like to attend, please bring a dish to share and join in expressing appreciation to Congressman Stupak for his 18 years of dedication to our district and to the Democratic Party.

No RSVP is needed.

The next regular monthly business meeting of the Houghton County Democratic Party will be at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the new year, Jan. 5, 2011, at the Super 8 in Houghton. Visitors are welcome.

U. S. Rep. Bart Stupak to speak at Michigan Tech commencement

By Marcia Goodrich, Michigan Tech senior writer
(Posted on Tech Today, Dec. 8, 2010)

HOUGHTON -- Congressman Bart Stupak will address nearly 300 graduates at Michigan Tech University Midyear Commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 11.

A total of 242 students will be receiving bachelor's degrees. In addition, 26 master's degrees and 18 doctorates will be awarded.

Stupak will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Environmental and Energy Policy. He is retiring in January after 18 years of service to Michigan's 1st Congressional District.

He is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and, as the ranking Democrat, chair of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

Before his election in 1992, Stupak was a Michigan state representative and worked as an Escanaba police officer and Michigan State Police trooper. He also practiced law.

A graduate of Gladstone High School, he earned an associate degree from Northwestern Michigan College, a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Northern Michigan University and a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing.

Health care has been a priority for Stupak since he was elected to Congress, when he pledged not to accept the insurance that members of Congress receive until all
Americans could have access to that same quality health care.

He has been a leader in the international effort to ban the sale and diversion of the Great Lakes and opposed the drilling for oil and gas beneath the Great Lakes.

Stupak founded and co-chaired the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, a bipartisan organization that provides the law enforcement community with an avenue to participate in the legislative process.

He has been a leader in homeland security, particularly in connection with programs to train and equip local law enforcement officers and other first responders. In addition, Stupak co-chairs the Congressional Northern Border Caucus.

Khana Khazana to offer Indian, Thai cuisine Dec. 10

HOUGHTON -- Khana Khazana (Food Treasure) will feature Indian and Thai Cuisine from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, in the Memorial Union Food Court at Michigan Tech.

The menu will include Mutter Paneer (curry of green peas and Indian cheese served with Naan bread), by Indian chef Sahil Thakkar; Kesariya Doodh (a delicious beverage made with milk, saffron and nuts), by Sahil Thakkar; and Pad Thai (an authentic Thai dish made with stir-fried noodles, bean sprouts and shrimps), by Thai chef Parawe Pumwongpitak).

A full meal is $6; à la carte prices are Pad Thai $3, Mutter Paneer $3, Kesariya Doodh $2.

This is the last Khana Khazana lunch of the Fall Semester. Khana Khazana Friday lunches will resume during Spring Semester, beginning in January. The first anniversary of the Khana Khazana program, a collaboration of Michigan Tech International Students and Michigan Tech Dining Services, will be Jan. 28, 2011.

Chef Sahil Thakkar, Khana Khazana coordinator, said he is looking for ideas on how to celebrate the anniversary.

Editor's Note: Read more about Khana Khazana and see photos of last week's lunch.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Mining expert Jack Parker says Eagle Mine likely to collapse

By Michele Bourdieu

TOIVOLA, Mich. -- Addressing the structural stability of Rio Tinto-Kennecott's Eagle Mine is a matter of life and death.

"Of course it is," says mining expert Jack Parker, semi-retired mining engineer/geologist, well respected for his practical experience in more than 500 mines around the world. Parker -- who has degrees in mining engineering, geological engineering and geology from Michigan Technological University -- specializes in practical rock mechanics, which he defines as "an understanding of the properties and behavior of rocks and rock structures -– and what to do about it."

Jack Parker of Toivola, semi-retired mining engineer / geologist, specializes in practical rock mechanics. He recently published two reports on the instability of Rio Tinto-Kennecott's Eagle Mine. (Photo courtesy Jack Parker)

Parker has written numerous technical papers on this practical approach and, since 1971, has independently given advice to miners and engineers to help them resolve problems in mine design and operation.

Most recently, Parker published two reports on the Eagle Mine, pointing out reasons why it is likely to collapse if mined as planned in Kennecott's mining permit application, which was approved by the former Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), now part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE). The permit has been challenged in a contested case, in which the MDEQ's Administrative Law Judge Richard Patterson ruled in favor of both Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co. (KEMC) and the company's apparent partner in the case, the MDEQ.*

Catherine Parker of Marquette, daughter of Jack Parker, reads an excerpt from Jack Parker's August 2010 report on the Eagle Mine at the Sept. 28, 2010, Marquette County Commissioners Sept. 28, 2010, Meeting of the Committee of the Whole Meeting. Catherine Parker gave commissioners copies of the report. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

This case is now being appealed by the groups challenging the permit: National Wildlife Federation, Huron Mountain Club, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. Parker was one of several experts testifying in the contested case held in the spring of 2008. He testified that the Eagle mine, as designed in Kennecott’s permit application, was likely to collapse. Later he published the reports to call attention again to the stability issue.

Jack Parker’s April 2009 report on the Eagle Project

In his first report -- dated April 2009 and titled "KEMC Eagle Project: A Fraudulent Mining Permit Application?" -- Parker said he had studied Kennecott's permit application for three years and concluded that the mine and its crown pillar (the rock above the mine) would not be stable. He called the application "misleading, deceitful and potentially dangerous." The report questions Kennecott's use of computer modeling as an approach to mine design. Parker also illustrates the report with photos of drill cores, showing weakness in the rock and pointing out missing numbers in Rock Mass Ratings that betray an effort to hide the poor core, thus misrepresenting the strength of the crown pillar. Samples of drawings also show how Kennecott concealed weak areas of rock in their use of color in the designs -- which would have deceived and misled the hired mine planners.

Parker says in this first report that he agrees with David Sainsbury, a rock mechanics expert hired by the MDEQ, who, in his 2006 Technical Review of the geotechnical portion of the application drafted by Kennecott's mine design consultants, Golder and Associates, was highly critical of the design.

Parker quotes Sainsbury as saying, "'The analysis techniques used to assess the Eagle crown pillar stability do not reflect industry best practice. In addition, the hydrologic stability of the crown pillar has not been considered. Therefore the conclusions made within the Eagle Project Mining Permit Application regarding crown pillar subsidence are not considered to be defensible.'"

"That was Sainsbury’s polite way of saying they were not supported by fact," Parker says.

As Parker points out, Sainsbury was asked more than once to rewrite his report and omit certain details, but still came to the same conclusion about the instability of the crown pillar.

"They hid those reports but hired a second expert, Wilson Blake, Ph D, also respected in the industry," Parker writes. "In a hasty response he gave KEMC/MDEQ some support but added that although he used to use their methods (numerical modeling), he gave up on them years ago, preferring instead to go look at the problem situations."

Although Blake testified for the MDEQ in the contested case, the Petitioners' Brief in support of their appeal of the contested case decision refers to Blake's respect for Parker's expertise: "According to the MDEQ's own expert, Parker's study of the geologic stresses in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and the significance of those stresses for mine construction, remains the seminal work on the subject. MDEQ's expert voluntarily identified Mr. Parker as an 'icon' in his field. Parker testified unequivocally that the risk of collapse at the proposed Eagle Mine is 'likely.'"

Parker's practical approach is evident in the examples he gives of questionable sampling (choosing only the best rock samples to represent a rock mass and basing calculations, analyses and designs on these samples) and questionable testing (for example, using dry samples in a lab to test rock strength, thus assuring more optimistic results since wet rocks lose much of their strength).

During an interview with Keweenaw Now, mining expert Jack Parker explains photos of rock core samples in his April 2009 report on the Eagle Mine. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Noting that the MDEQ told their expert Sainsbury to leave case histories out of his reports, Parker says a geologist or person planning a mine should always look at similar mines in similar conditions in order to anticipate problems. Their second expert, Blake, said the same thing. Parker describes the 1987 collapse of the Ropes Mine near Ishpeming and the 1932 collapse of the Athens Mine south of Negaunee. In the latter case, the crown pillar was 1800 feet thick and described as "jaspilite," an extremely strong rock.

"Remember that KEMC/Golder first said that a crown pillar about 100 ft. thick would be stable," Parker writes. "After questioning they doubled it to 200 ft, and eventually, tripled it, to 300 ft. No confidence in their calculations and predictions? Strange that their hi-tech calculations would add an even 100 ft each time they were challenged. At the Athens mine the crown pillar, 1800-1900 feet thick, was 'Not relevant!' they say."

Parker adds, "It was 1800-1900 feet thick, but it did fail."

Parker concludes his 2009 report with an explanation of the importance of horizontal stress on the crown pillar.

A major problem with Kennecott's design, Parker says, is this: "NOBODY KNOWS EITHER THE ORIENTATION OR THE MAGNITUDE OF THE STRESSES IN THE CROWN PILLAR. IT FOLLOWS THAT NOBODY CAN PREDICT THE DEGREE OF STABILITY OF THE CROWN WITH CERTAINTY. NOBODY!" (Emphasis is Parker’s.)**

Jack Parker's second report, August 2010

In August 2010, Parker published a second report on the Kennecott Eagle Project. This one, only 16 pages long, is titled "THE KENNECOTT EAGLE MINE PLANNED FOR UPPER MICHIGAN IS PREDICTED TO BE UNSTABLE." Parker said he wrote this second report because it seemed no one had paid attention to the first one, perhaps because he had presented so many details on the errors in Kennecott's application.

"The reports begin to resemble encyclopedias, full of facts, perhaps, but nobody reads encyclopedias from beginning to end," Parker writes in his Introduction to the August 2010 report. "This time I confine my observations to the most significant errors -- those concerning health and safety, primarily the stability of the mine and the crown pillar in particular."

The crown pillar, says Parker, is all the rock between the top of the mine and the top of the bedrock.

In their permit application, Parker explains, "Kennecott includes everything above the top of the mine, including the weathered and fractured rock."

Parker considers that a grave error.

Parker's second report includes a page of color photos of 50 ft. of core samples (all dry) from the crown pillar of the Eagle Mine. His comment on these is as follows:

"Stability depends more on rock structure than on laboratory measurements of strength of small, select, intact samples."

This is one of the core samples Parker includes in his August 2010 report. "Would you care to work under this roofrock?" Parker asks. (Photo courtesy Jack Parker)

In just a few pages, Parker shows how Kennecott and their consultants, Golder Associates, used a computer modeling approach and arrived at designs based on numbers that are arbitrary -- or even missing, as in the example of the missing Rock Mass Ratings (RMRs) for 87 feet of the weaker rock types in the crown pillar -- which hid the potential instability of the rock.

"The rocks don't lie but the numbers do," Parker writes.

He also points out, as he did in his first report, that RMRs from dry samples have to be adjusted (lowered) since the actual rocks are wet.

"THE CORRECTED RMRs, APPLIED TO K/G (Kennecott/Golder) METHODOLOGY, PREDICT THAT THE MINE AND THE CROWN PILLAR WILL BE UNSTABLE," Parker notes with emphasis. ***

Two other nationally recognized experts on mining engineering and geological issues -- Dr. Marcia Bjornerud of Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis., and Dr. Stanley Vitton of Michigan Technological University -- testified for the Petitioners in the contested case. The Petitioners note that, along with Parker, Bjornerud and Vitton provided days of detailed testimony, corroborating, explaining and supporting the criticisms of the application made by Drs. Sainsbury and Blake, as well as the prediction of likely mine collapse.

According to the Petitioners' Brief, "Bjornerud studied extensive photographs of the core samples which showed the quality of rock in and around the intended crown pillar and, using generally accepted formulas, determined that the rock was of very low quality (rubble) and that the crown pillar itself could fail through crumbling or longer-term deterioration."

(The Petitioners' Brief also explains that Kennecott refused to produce the actual core samples so these Petitioners' experts had to conduct their analysis from photographs obtained through FOIA requests. The Administrative Law Judge in the contested case refused to order the actual samples and then, ironically, dismissed these experts' testimony based on the photographs because they didn't have access to the core samples!)

In their Brief, Petitioners question Administrative Law Judge Patterson's reliance on "experimental backfill procedures" to prevent crown pillar failure: "Even before blasting occurs in the secondary stopes, right up against the backfill in the primary stopes, the strength of that backfill is only a tiny fraction of that of the ore it is replacing (20,000 psi vs. 218 psi).

They note that Vitton's calculations show the blasting against the backfill combined with acidic action would lead to a prediction of 12 or more feet of settling beneath the Salmon Trout River. Respondents in the case did not contradict this conclusion.

Vitton recently told Keweenaw Now that, while the 12 foot of settlement would be in the backfill material, not necessarily the total settlement of the crown pillar, it would be close to that if the crown pillar failed.

View of the Salmon Trout River. Kennecott's ore body is under this trout stream. The river is at great risk if the mine underneath it should collapse. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The Petitioners' Brief refers to the testimonies of Parker and, Bjornerud and Vitton as "Unrebutted."

On the other hand, the Administrative Law Judge's Proposal for Decision (PFD), for reasons unknown, concludes that the mine will not collapse.

According to the Petitioners' Brief, "The way the PFD reaches a 'conclusion' that this mine will not collapse, against all of the testimony and calculations of the five geologic and mine engineering experts which indicate that it will likely collapse, was by either omitting (with respect to Sainsbury and Blake) or dismissing out of hand (with respect to Parker, Bjornerud and Vitton) all of the testimony indicating the likely catastrophic collapse of this mine."

Faced with all the expert criticism warning of the instability of the crown pillar, Kennecott proposed that the whole application "would be subject to future revisions during the course of excavation and mining, this time without any public review whatsoever," the Petitioners add.

Parker's main point in both of his reports is that safety was intentionally compromised by omission and guesswork, resulting in violation of Part 632, Michigan's Nonferrous Metallic Mining Regulations.

Parker includes in his August 2010 Report an excerpt from Section 324.63223 of Part 632, concerning violations and penalties. These include making a false statement in a permit application under Part 632 (a felony, punishable by a maximum of two years in prison and fines of $2500 to $25,000 per day for each violation or, in the case of a second conviction for this same violation, fines of $25,000 to $50,000 per day). If the court finds evidence of substantially endangering the public health, safety or welfare, that is punishable by five years in prison and fines of at least $ 1 million). ****

Recently, Parker told Keweenaw Now he sees compromise as the only solution to the dilemma of Kennecott breaking the Part 632 law but being allowed to proceed by the DNRE.

"Four and a half years of study still uphold the early findings that Kennecott doctored the technical data in their application to assure issue of permits," Parker says. "And they still maintain that they 'have a good plan and will stick with it' despite the fact that when corrected data are inserted into their design approach the results show that the mine will be unstable -- thus endangering life, limb, property and environment."

Parker notes Kennecott continues to work on mine construction, ignoring the requirements of the law and reinterpreting the law when necessary.

"MDEQ (now MDNRE) allows them to do so," he says.

Construction at the Kennecott mine site (shown in this Nov. 9, 2010, aerial photo) is ongoing, despite litigation still claiming the company is ignoring Part 632, Michigan's Nonferrous Metallic Mining Regulations. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2010 and courtesy Jeremiah Eagle Eye)

Despite this, as Parker sees it, the dilemma is that the ore bodies are very valuable, the State needs money and many local people need jobs.

"A fair number of them are already enjoying their work at the mine site and their paychecks and they ought not to be punished," Parker adds. "Put yourself in their
place."

Parker says he believes all of the existing plans could be improved upon immensely -- the access, the mining, the duration of mining, the ore processing, the transportation, the marketing and the sharing of proceeds.

"I would expect Kennecott to make such changes piecemeal, by subterfuge, by rewriting the law," he notes.

Editor’s Notes:
* "The consolidated contested case hearing began on April 28, 2008. There were 40 days of testimony, concluding on July 16, 2008, followed by a site visit. During the hearing, 59 persons testified, many of them expert witnesses. In addition, the de bene esse deposition of Dr. Sainsbury was admitted, as were numerous detailed technical exhibits. All parties' closing arguments and proposed findings of fact were filed by October 15, 2008." (Appellants’ / Petitioners' Brief, pp. 15-16) Click here for the Appellants’ Brief.

** Click here to read Jack Parker’s April 2009 report on the Eagle Project.

*** Click here to read Jack Parker’s August 2010 report, predicting the Eagle Mine to be unstable.

**** See Michigan's Nonferrous Metallic Mining Regulations: Part 632 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of 1994.
Parker’s excerpt is taken from p. 14.