Friday, March 30, 2012

Videos, photos: Students lead Walk to protest murder of Trayvon Martin

By Michele Bourdieu

Students and community members leave the Finlandia University campus for a walk to protest the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American in Florida. Many of the participants wear "hoodies" -- hooded sweatshirts like the one Trayvon wore when he was considered "suspicious" and shot. (Photo and video clips by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK, HOUGHTON -- Students and community members -- many wearing hooded sweatshirts -- joined arms and walked from Finlandia University in Hancock to the Houghton side of the Portage Lift Bridge in protest against the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American who was shot to death in Sanford, FL earlier this month by a neighborhood watch captain, who has not been arrested.

Marchers walk down Quincy Street in Hancock on their way to the Portage Lift Bridge.(Photos by Keweenaw Now)

Students from Finlandia University and Michigan Tech organized a day of silent protest on Thursday, March 29, and a quiet walk to the bridge. Their hooded sweatshirts (hoodies) were meant to show solidarity with the tragic young victim, who was considered "suspicious" because he was wearing one when he was shot.

Walkers lock arms in solidarity as they walk through Hancock on the way to the bridge.

Some well behaved dogs participated with their owners -- even one with only three legs.

These parents bundled up the kids to participate in the walk.

This video captures marchers nearing the bridge in Hancock:



Undaunted by the cold, windy weather, marchers can be seen crossing the Portage Lift Bridge from Veterans Park above:



Click here for a news video clip on the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Updated: World Water Day speaker Lana Pollack calls for public policy to save Great Lakes

By Rev. Dr. Sydney Morris*

HOUGHTON -- Lana Pollack, chair of the U.S. Section of the International Joint Commission, spoke on "Can Science Save the Great Lakes?" on Thursday, March 22, on the campus of Michigan Technological University. Speaking to over 100 people in Room 103 of the EERC, she emphasized the point that "public interest in change creates public policy; public policy drives changes in behavior and law."

Lana Pollack, chair of the U.S. Section of the International Joint Commission, delivered the World Water Day lecture, "Can Science Save the Great Lakes?" on March 22, 2012, at Michigan Tech. Her lecture lecture was sponsored by the university's Center for Water and Society and the Visiting Women and Minority Lecture Series. (Photo © and courtesy Emil Groth)

Pollack was appointed to the Commission by President Obama. An environmental advocate, she has served three terms in the Michigan Senate, creating the Polluter Pay Statute of 1990.

"There are a lot of smart people here with a lot of focus and intensity," she said in her opening remarks. "I am reminded of how much good public money and public institutions do, for the public good."

Pollack was invited by Michigan Tech's Center for Water and Society on the occasion of the World Water Day Lecture, which focuses on fresh water issues. She is current Chair of the U.S. Section of the International Joint Commission. Pollack is required to both uphold the U.S. constitution and attend impartially to the interests of the whole water system shared by Canada and the U.S., working at the intersection of water and society. Currently, about 50 percent of Commission time is spent on the Great Lakes.

Established in 1909 with the Boundary Waters Treaty, the Commission was to settle disputes about the distribution of quantities of water. It was charged with 4 areas: (1) agriculture, i.e., distribution and water flow rules (2) navigation (3) industry (4) personal recreational use.

Only one sentence on water quality was included in the treaty, Pollack noted: "Each country -- Canada and the United States -- each has the right to be protected from the pollution of its waters caused by the other country."

Spurred by the social movement of peace and civil rights in the 60s, public opinion formed the environmental movement. Lake Erie had been burning for more than a decade before the cover of Time magazine focused public concern. In a "culture of broader insistence" public interest drives change. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement was made in 1978 and amended in 1987.

With the advent, after 1971, of wastewater treatment plants, phosphorous as PCBs in lake trout did indeed drop extensively. Lowest phosphorus levels were achieved in 1994, but they are now back up, due to unregulated farming practices.

"We cannot pursue agriculture the way we are doing it now and keep our Great Lakes," Pollack said.

Mercury levels dropped from 1971 until 2000 and are now starting to increase as policy is not adequate to transport and some historic issues, she explained. Levels of PBDE, used as fire retardant, was not under scrutiny until after 2000 and is now stable or declining. Lacking any policy, there were steadily increasing numbers of invasive aquatic species until policy regarding salt water exchange (emptying bilge holds) were put in place. The sea lamprey is 90 percent controlled, because of a policy limiting the hours of water release which incorporates the fact that sea lampreys are nocturnal.

Hundreds of millions of dollars of public money are spent on zebra mussels, lacking a policy of deterrence. Purple loosestrife is increasing. Tiny but significant is Diporeia, at the bottom of the food chain, which is not protected by policy; consequently 2011 saw the worst algal blooms in Lake Erie ever recorded.

Asian carp are a danger, though they may draw more public attention because as one policy maker said, "they are big and jump out of the water." Some $78 million is going into research for management of Asian Carp including biochemical, electric and water pressure approaches.

Drainage from proposed Kennecott mining projects in the U.S. and Canada pose serious threats to Lake Superior. Pollack questioned the company's safety controls, and said she sees the need for policy, since public policy moves behaviors into law and positive outcomes.

Climate change must be taken into account. Ice cover loss from 1972 to 2009 was reported to range from Lake Ontario at 78 percent to Lake Erie at 68 percent. Lake Superior lost 2nd to the most ice cover. Among other impacts, ice cover loss leads to increased winter damage and erosion.

After her World Water Day lecture, Lana Pollack speaks with members of the audience -- from left, Renn Lambert, graduate student in environmental engineering studying phosphorus in the Great Lakes; Rolf Peterson, Michigan Tech professor emeritus and co-director of the Isle Royale Wolf Moose Study; his wife and research assistant, Carolyn Peterson; and Dave Toczydlowski, researcher in biological sciences. (Photo © and courtesy Emil Groth)

"Why is science so disregarded concerning climate change?" Pollack asked the audience. Their comments included employment issues, fear of lifestyle changes, following the money trail, lack of education in scientific literacy, people feeling overwhelmed, short-range immediate thinking, and variability (confusing weather with climate), communication skills from the scientific community, funding of science by multinationals, religious disagreement (stewardship and dominion; the place of human agency in light of vastly increased human population numbers).

Despite 3,000 scientists representing national academies worldwide declaring climate change to be settled science, Pollack emphasized the "affirmative campaign" by industries to confuse the public. She pointed out two streams of information being given to the public: Scientific information comes over time as cautiously, as it should, while the coal and oil industries use billions of dollars to give a message of absolute certainty.

It is now time to pause, Pollack said, and think of earth's resources and how to allow future generations to flourish within the context of limited resources.

"I apologize to this generation," she said to the students, but added that their work and creativity is essential to shaping the future. "We are entering a really, really exciting period in a dynamic world with plenty of issues" for students to work on. From her perspective working with "two great free democracies," she feels that what we do to make ourselves heard is "entirely up to us."

Preceding the lecture by Lana Pollack, the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society (CWS) sponsored a student poster session and competition to highlight the ongoing graduate research on water at Michigan Tech. Jacob Woolley, left, and William McSorley, both Michigan Tech seniors in geological engineering, are pictured here with the poster for their senior design project, "Locating Contamination Near the Torch Lake Superfund Site." Other students who worked on the project are Elliot Rouleau, Laura Schaner, Eric Shepeck, Andrew Reed, and Guokun Zhang. (Photo © and courtesy Emil Groth)*

During question time, a question was asked about future water wars. Pollack replied that she supported the water quality compact -- and would have supported even stronger, stricter language because of the "huge moral issues in access to clean fresh water that sustains life." The main value is that we must do a better job of conservation, she said. It is not just a matter of how many people have access to water, but how it is used. The real war is in learning to conserve and be more sustainable, to do better with less.

Another questioner wondered how priorities are established. Pollack replied that some is already done by limits and requirements in the Treaty. The Commission works on (1) water flow and (2) advising governments on how to make decisions about water. Over the next three years, they will focus on Lake Erie -- developing indicators of how to measure lake health (they are many sometimes conflicting indices) and facilitating outreach and dispersal of scientific information.

In response to a question about lake levels, for the study of which Pollack praised the work of many at Michigan Technological University, she added that it is too late to avoid lower lake levels. One "very rich field to study" is in investigating adaptations to the inevitable.

In answer to "Can Science Save the Great Lakes?" -- the question posed by the lecture -- Pollack emphasized that we need more than knowledge for the sake of knowledge. While science can predict and pose solution, science is "a necessary but not sufficient component" of saving the Great Lakes. We need public interest to bring about policies which will bring the desired outcomes toward the health and flourishing of the Great Lakes and of their peoples.

* Editor's Notes:

Keweenaw Now guest author Rev. Dr. Sydney Morris is the pastor of the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Houghton.

Click here to see a video of Lana Pollack's World Water Day lecture, filmed by Emil Groth, photographer for the Michigan Tech College of Engineering. Noel Urban, Michigan Tech professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Center for Water and Society, introduces the lecture and announces the winners of the graduate research poster contest.

Click here to see more photos of the students and their posters and to see names of the winners of the poster competition.

Editor's update: We have corrected our error in Dr. Pollack's statement on phosphorus and agricultural practices -- not mercury. This was an error in our original posting.

Great Lakes Showcase exhibit in Rozsa Gallery continues through March 30

Artist Susanne Kilpela, winner of the Best of Show award in the three-dimensional category at the Great Lakes Showcase exhibit, is pictured here with her porcelain sculpture, "Temporal Touchstone," in the Rozsa Gallery during the opening reception March 12. Kilpela also won a third place award in the 3D category for her piece "Communciation Issues." (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- The Great Lakes Showcase in the Rozsa Gallery will conclude tomorrow, Friday, March 30. If you missed the opening reception, check out the exhibit by these talented local artists now!

The opening reception for the Great Lakes Showcase on March 12 attracted a large crowd.

Awards worth more than $2000 honor outstanding work this year in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional categories. The three top prizes are being sponsored by the Michigan Technological University President, Provost, and Dean. This year’s juror was Dr. Stephen Perkins, Curator of Art at the Lawton Gallery, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay.

In his awards speech, Dr. Perkins said that he was particularly impressed by work that surprised him, that made him "look at things in a slightly different way," and he stressed the importance of artists continuing to "just do the work, that perseverance is the key to success."

Wayne Walma and Pamela Beal won second place in the 3D category with their mixed-media piece "Mocha Wine and Joe," pictured here between them.

Winners were announced as follows:

Three Dimensional:

Best of Show -- Susanne Kilpela, "Temporal Touchstone"
First Place -- Jess Kane, "Corroborate"
Second Place -- Wayne Walma and Pamela Beal, "Mocha Wine and Joe"
Third Place -- Susanne Kilpela, "Communication Issues"

The Rozsa Gallery is equipped with special lighting to illuminate paintings such as these.

Two Dimensional:

Best of Show -- G. Tim Flannery, "The Silence in Here is Deafening"
First Place -- Steven Hughes, "The King is Dead"
Second Place -- Darrin Moir, "Rooftop"
Third Place -- Thomas Co, "Ella"

Artist Tom Co is pictured here with some of his entries, including "Satchmo," at left. Co won third place in the 2D category for his piece "Ella."

Artist and beekeeper Melissa Hronkin is pictured here with several of her encaustics entries.

Honorable Mentions:

Kevin Breyfogle, "Early Copper Miner"
Andrea DaVinci Braun, "Jacqueline's Tattoo"
John D. Hubbard, "BP Trickle"
Joyce Koskenmaki, "Owl and Two Birches"
Sue Stephens, "Talking with Richard"
Fredi Taddeucci, "Spirit of Joy"

Photographer Eric Munch is pictured here at the reception with his photography entry "Birch Perch."

Artist Susan Robinson and her husband, George Robinson, view paintings during the March 12 opening reception of the Great Lakes Showcase in the Rozsa Gallery.

As always, the show includes a Community Favorite Award voted on by gallery visitors. The public is invited to view the work of area artists and vote for the "Community Choice Award," in the gallery, open 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. through March 30, 2012. The Community Choice Award Winner will be announced on the Department of Visual and Performing Arts website after the show closes. Throughout the Showcase, most exhibition works will be available for purchase through Ticketing Operations by calling (906) 487-2073.

The Great Lakes Showcase is sponsored by the Michigan Technological University Visual and Performing Arts Department.

UPDATE from Peaceful Uprising: Tim transferred out of "the hole," but questions remain

Posted on peacefuluprising.org
March 29, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- BREAKING NEWS: Climate activist Tim DeChristopher was moved back to the MINIMUM SECURITY CAMP -- late last night, Wednesday, March 28, after FCI Herlong, the BOP office in Washington, DC, and members of Congress received thousands of phone calls … from YOU!

Thank you for the overwhelming outpouring of support and for such effective public pressure. Peaceful Uprising will not stop investigating this situation because the most important questions remain unanswered: Why was Congress involved in moving Tim into isolated confinement, and who ordered the investigation? "An injustice to one is an injustice to all," and this abuse of power must be exposed in its entirety if we are to safeguard our own personal liberties.

Tim is still a political prisoner. Stand with us as we continue to pursue the truth. Tune in for more at 1:30 p.m. (MST) TODAY, March 29, when Tim’s Legal Team gives a press conference on the iconic steps of the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Ut.

Click here for this story and how to take action with Peaceful Uprising.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From Peaceful Uprising: Tim DeChristopher placed in isolated confinement

Press release from Peaceful Uprising
Posted on peacefuluprising.org March 27, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- On the evening of Friday March 9, 2012, climate activist Tim DeChristopher was summarily removed from the Minimum Security Camp where he has been held since September 2011, and moved into the FCI Herlong's Special Housing Unit (SHU). Tim was informed by Lieutenant Weirich that he was being moved to the SHU because an unidentified Congressman had called from Washington DC, complaining of an email that Tim had sent to a friend. Tim was inquiring about the reported business practices of one of his contributors, threatening to return the money if their values no longer aligned with his own.Tim will be held in isolated confinement until the investigation is concluded. There is no definite timeline for inmates being held in the SHU -- often times they await months for the conclusion of an investigation.

On Eagle Rock, near Big Bay, Mich., in August 2009, activist Tim DeChristopher, third from left, joins participants at Protect the Earth in holding up cups of pure water during a ceremony of appreciation and prayer for keeping the water clean. DeChristopher later poured water from Salt Lake City, where Kennecott Minerals Co. has its headquarters. Kennecott is now drilling a portal to the Eagle Mine under Eagle Rock. DeChristopher also spoke at Northern Michigan University during this 2009 event. (Keweenaw Now file photo © 2009 and courtesy Gabriel Caplett)

In the SHU, Tim's movement and communications are severely restricted. In the past two weeks, he has been allowed out of his 8 x 10 cell (which he shares with another inmate) four times, each time for less than an hour.

Tim is allowed one book in his cell, and four in his property locker. His writing means are restricted to a thin ink cartridge, which makes correspondence extremely difficult. He can receive mail from the outside, but has no other form of communication other than 15 minutes of phone calls per month.

Peaceful Uprising and thousands of supporters around the world found Tim's conviction and sentence to two years of prison time outrageous. However, our outrage (and hopefully yours) has escalated because of the hidden power of public and appointed officials in Washington DC to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on Tim for his courageous stand on protecting the earth and speaking truth to power.

We firmly believe the only way Tim will be returned to the Minimum Security Camp he's been housed in for the last six months is to place outside pressure on elected and appointed officials in Washington DC, specifically the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the members of Congress charged with overseeing the BOP. Peaceful Uprising wishes to express their solidarity with Tim by making a national call to action, asking Tim's supporters to call officials at the Federal Correctional Institution in Herlong CA, the Bureau of Prisons in Washington DC, and members of Congress that sit on the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, demanding that they immediately return Tim to the Minimum Security Camp from which he came.

It has come to our attention that William Koch entered into an antitrust settlement where his company, Gunnison Energy, and SG Interest, a Texas energy company, conspired to orchestrate the bidding at a BLM oil and gas lease auction in Colorado. They memorialized this conspiracy in a memorandum of understanding that was subsequently revealed by a whistleblower. The Department of Justice settled the matter by having each company pay a $275,000 fine, and allowed the conspirators to retain their successful BLM oil and gas leases.*

Tim's actions stopped any such conspiracies without doing any violence or harm to anyone, and now he is in isolation at Herlong potentially for the remainder of his sentence.

This is not justice, it is political persecution. Join us in stopping it. The time for action is now.

For more details please visit: www.peacefuluprising.org or click here for the complete blog post and contact information for congressmen and others you can call to take action.

* Click here for the Feb. 15, 2012, press release from the U.S. Department of Justice on the settlement for these antitrust violations.

Editor's Note: For background on Tim DeChristopher's sentencing, see our July 27, 2011, article, "Updated: Climate activist Tim DeChristopher sentenced to two years in prison."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NOSOTROS to participate in Michigan Tech Relay for Life March 30-31

HOUGHTON -- NOSOTROS will participate in the 2012 Michigan Tech Relay for Life, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, March 30, and continuing overnight, at the Student Development Complex (SDC).

The group has set a fundraising goal of $500 for the American Cancer Society.

"Being on an American Cancer Society Relay For Life team is an amazing experience," says Alessia Uboni, NOSOTROS president. "It’s a small commitment with a very big impact."

Click here to learn how you can register to join their team, donate to a team member to help them reach their goal, or honor a loved one with luminaria.

If you have any questions about the event or if you have any difficulty signing up, please contact Maria Schutte at mgschutt@mtu.edu.

NOSOTROS is a student organization established to create a "sense of community" of the Hispanic/Latin culture at Michigan Technological University; to share the Hispanic/Latin culture with the campus community and to provide a forum for the exchange of information pertinent for the Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic/Latino students enrolled at Michigan Tech. Their organization includes students from many countries, and they welcome community members to their many cultural events.

Last chance to visit Wildcat Falls before Forest Service Land Exchange

Wildcat Falls in the Ottawa National Forest. (Photo © Rod Sharka)

MARQUETTE -- Partners in Forestry, The Northwoods Alliance, and The Northwoods Native Plant Society are co-sponsoring a guided hike through the US Forest Service Wildcat Falls parcel northeast of Watersmeet, Mich., in the last hours before the Forest Service trades away this unique and beautiful acreage to a private land investor.*

When: Meet at site (directions below): Sunday, April 1, 1:30 p.m. Central (CDT). PLEASE CARPOOL.

What to bring: appropriate hiking boots (a must); walking stick; trail snacks; water; camera.

Note: The distance to the falls is approx. ¼ mile. Hikers will be walking through old growth (hemlock/cedar/yellow birch). There is little understory but no established trail, so the ground is natural, uneven, and littered with course woody debris characteristic of old growth. If you are unsteady in this type of terrain, walking sticks/poles are recommended. Hike at your own risk.

DIRECTIONS:

If coming from the south: From Intersection of Rt. 45 and Hwy 2 (Watersmeet, Mich.), go 3.5 miles north on Rt. 45 to Sucker Lake Road (a little north of the casino). Turn left on Sucker Lake Rd. and drive west for 5.4 miles to County Line Lake Rd. (You will pass County Line Lake on your right.) Turn right on County Line Lake Rd. and continue north 1.5 miles. Participants will park and meet near where the road crosses Scott and Howe Creek.

If coming from the north: Sucker Lake Rd. is approx. 15.7 miles south of Bruce Crossing, or 6.5 miles south of Paulding, Mich. Turn right (west) on Sucker Lake Rd. and follow previous directions.

IT IS SUGGESTED THAT YOU CARPOOL WITH FRIENDS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. You may arrange to meet friends at Nordines (Rt. 45 and Hwy 2) or at the casino (a short distance south of Sucker Lake Rd.) and carpool from there. County Line Lake Rd. in particular is narrow and unpaved. Parking is limited along the road. Warning…shoulders may be soft.

For more information about this exchange, the hike, or objectives of these groups contact Rich Sloat sloat57@sbcglobal.net or Catherine Parker brinkleycourt@yahoo.com or Sherry Zoars at zoars@copper.net or call 906-358-1110.

From Stand for the Land: Message to the U.S. Forest Service: Don’t sell Wildcat Falls!

Posted on Stand for the Land March 26, 2012. Reprinted with permission.

The U.S. Forest service has entered into an agreement with a private land developer to trade away rare old-growth hemlock stands, a portion of a creek, and the beautiful Wildcat Falls.

In exchange for this unique and relatively undisturbed ecosytem, we will acquire mostly cut-over acreage with few recreational opportunities and little timber value.

Public input has been overwhelmingly against this exchange. It is also opposed by a number of conservation groups, including Partners in Forestry, which promotes sustainable use of woodlands.*

A citizen appeal has been filed and is pending review before Chuck Myers, Appeal Deciding Officer for the Forest Service. His decision may come as early as April 2012.

Click here to sign a petition to let him know these lands must be cherished and protected in trust for the public. You are most welcome to contact him directly, as well:

Chuck Myers, Regional Forester
Eastern Region, USFS
626 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
414.297.3600

A friend of the Falls has put together a brief video, a preview of what you might see if you take the April 1 hike to Wildcat Falls described above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIWyot-Mq8E&feature=youtu.be

We are asking that the decision be reversed. It can be done. It should be done.

Click here for the Forest Service page on this Delich Land Exchange.

Click here for the Forest Service's Revised Environmental Assessment for the Delich Land Exchange Proposal, including maps.

* See the history of and objection to this exchange at www.partnersinforestry.com.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Canadian company plans exploration project for Keweenaw copper

During his presentation on the Keweenaw Copper project to members of the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce in February 2012, Ross Grunwald -- vice-president of exploration for Highland Resources, a Canadian company -- fields questions from the audience. Also pictured is Paul Lehto (seated, center), Calumet Township supervisor. (Photos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

By Michele Bourdieu

HOUGHTON -- Highland Resources, a Canadian company, recently launched a Web site devoted to their plans to explore historic Keweenaw copper deposits -- from Calumet to Copper Harbor -- in order to determine the mining potential of some former native copper mines and of some related sites on the Keweenaw Peninsula known to contain copper sulfide.

Even before the Web site was updated with this project, members of the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce attended a February meeting with a presentation on the project by Dr. Ross Grunwald, Highland Resources vice-president of exploration, who explored and mined copper at Centennial in the 1970s.

According to the Web site, "Highland entered into a joint venture agreement on August 4th, 2011, which will allow Highland to earn a 65 percent interest in the copper resources in Keweenaw and Houghton counties in Michigan. The Company has committed to spend $11,500,000 on a development and exploration program on the Property over a three-year period to earn the 65% interest."*

Much of the information on Highland Resources' site is taken from a technical report issued September 29, 2011, by Behre Dolbear Mineral Industry Advisors. The report, also available on the Highland Resources site, is titled "Canadian National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Centennial and Kingston Native Copper, 543S, and other Copper Sulfide Properties, Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, Michigan, USA."**

Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and administered by the provincial securities commissions that govern how issuers disclose scientific and technical information about their mineral projects to the public. It covers oral statements as well as written documents and websites. It requires that all disclosure be based on advice by a "qualified person" and in some circumstances that the person be independent of the issuer and the property.***

Geologist Chuck Brumleve, who is familiar with the Behre Dolbear report, said NI 43-101 status "is a requirement of the Canadian Securities and Exchange if a company wants to sell investment to the public."

"It's just a disclosure for public consumption that this project is real -- that it's what it says it is," Brumleve explained.

The Sept. 29, 2011, Behre Dolbear report states, "Behre Dolbear was engaged by Highland Resources, Inc. (Highland Resources) to review the existing historic database and drill core for two historic mines, one undeveloped property, and several exploration projects and to complete a Property of Merit NI 43-101 Technical Report. Additionally, Behre Dolbear is to suggest, recommend and give advice on the technical issues of an exploration campaign designed to bring the historic native copper and exploration-stage copper sulfide occurrence resources to a standard compliant with Canadian National Instrument (NI) 43-101 guidelines."**

The Highland Resources Web site explains why none of the historic resources in the Keweenaw deposits are compliant with NI 43-101.****

As Brumleve noted, "It's all old data."

In order to make their data compliant with NI 43-101, Highland Resources will have to go back and re-drill most of the bore holes done in the past (when NI 43-101 didn't exist), and, in particular, re-do things like assays -- analyses of the rock -- Brumleve added.

The report also identifies Dr. Ross Grunwald of GeoResource Management, formerly resident geologist and later general manager of the Homestake Mining Company (HMC) and International Nickel Company (INCO) Joint Venture (HKV) at these properties in the 1970s, as Highland Resources' Vice-President of Exploration.

Videos: Ross Grunwald presents Keweenaw Copper project to Chamber of Commerce

Grunwald, who now works from an office in the Merchant and Miners Bank building in Calumet, recently spoke to the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce about his own background in Keweenaw mining exploration in the 1970s and about the potential of the properties destined for exploration in northern Houghton County and in Keweenaw County.

This photo, displayed in Ross Grunwald's presentation on the Highland Resources - Keweenaw Copper Co. plans for copper mining exploration in the Keweenaw, shows drill cores from Grunwald's previous work at the Centennial Mine in the 1970s -- still in storage in Calumet Township.

In this presentation, Grunwald identified the exploration company for the project as Keweenaw Copper Co., a U.S. subsidiary of Highland Resources. He stated this Keweenaw Copper project is for exploration and evaluation only, with no current plans to place any property into production. A decision on production would possibly be made two years from now, he added.

On the other hand, Grunwald indicated his objective "is to develop a resource that would be able to support a sustainable mining operation for decades rather than just five years, ten years or whatever."

Here is a video clip of Grunwald's introduction in his presentation to the Chamber during their "Eggs and Issues" breakfast meeting in early February of this year:



At a February breakfast meeting of the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Ross Grunwald, Vice-President of Exploration for Highland Resources (and its subsidiary Keweenaw Copper Co.) presents the company's project for exploration of historic mine sites and other properties with mining potential in the Keweenaw Peninsula. He also displays some graphs on worldwide copper production and consumption -- noting China's present increasing consumption of copper. (Video clips by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

In his presentation Grunwald gave an overview of historic copper production in the Upper Peninsula and showed a map of the Upper Peninsula, identifying current and past mining projects:



Ross Grunwald continues his presentation to the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, locating present and past mining projects in the Upper Peninsula, from the Copperwood Mine near the Porcupine Mountains State Park, now in the permitting process, to the Rio Tinto-Kennecott Mine near Big Bay, which began blasting a portal under Eagle Rock last September, to the Ropes Mine near Ishpeming -- a gold mine where Grunwald said he had worked in the 80s.*****

According to the Behre Dolbear report, the properties Highland Resources plans to explore -- more than 13,000 acres -- include two historic native copper mines: Centennial Mine, accessed by the Centennial #3 and #6 shafts, and the Kingston Mine, accessed by the Allouez #3 and Kingston shafts; the 543S copper sulfide (chalcocite) deposit near Gratiot Lake and other copper sulfide deposits to the north and east in Keweenaw County -- including the deposit called G-2 north of Bete Grise Bay. (See location map of sulfide deposits, Figure 7.13 in the report or click here on the Highland Resources Web site.)

This map, which Grunwald displayed in his presentation, shows the production area of native copper sites in northern Houghton and southern Keweenaw counties. The copper sulfide deposits are farther north and east in Keweenaw County.

"The most advanced copper sulfide project is the 543S deposit," the report states. "Several other copper sulfide deposits have been identified and partially drilled. The historic mines all produced native copper, while the 543S deposit and the other copper sulfide deposits contain chalcocite as the principal copper mineral. Small amounts of native silver occur at the Centennial, Kingston and 543S deposits."

Jack Parker, mining expert, says chalcocite is "much less likely to cause acid mine drainage" than pyrite.

"To make acid mine drainage, you need iron and sulfur and something else (like copper or nickel), Parker explains.

George Robinson, curator of Michigan Tech's Seaman Mineral Museum, notes that chalcocite is a copper sulfide and pyrite is iron sulfide. He said the pyrite, when it weathers and creates acid with water, will do more harm than chalcocite.

The report does mention that "pyrite has been reported as an alteration halo around some chalcocite bodies." (See the Behre Dolbear report, section 7.6.3.1 on the 543S sulfide deposit.)

Toward the end of his slide presentation, Grunwald attempted to assure his audience that environmental protection is part of Highland Resources' mission:



In this video clip, Ross Grunwald points out that "environmental stewardship" and "sustainability" are part of the Highland Resources mission.

In asking for community support of the exploration project, Grunwald noted in his slide presentation that the success of the operation "depends on application of state-of-the-art exploration techniques, community support (though not financial) and luck."

Question - Answer session

Grunwald then took questions from some of the Chamber of Commerce members present at this meeting:



Ross Grunwald fields questions on infrastructure, transport and economic viability from members of the Chamber of Commerce audience.

More questions:



Audience members ask Grunwald about refining or smelting copper ore at the White Pine facility, cost of fuel and truck vs. rail transport, and underground vs. open-pit mining.

In answer to some of the questions, Grunwald mentioned the White Pine smelter as a possibility for refining the ore, should the exploration result in mining activities. He said while open-pit mining can be more efficient, the narrow shape of the deposits would probably require underground mining. He also mentioned he hoped they would be able to return the tailings to the underground mine, since he had learned from his experience at the Centennial Mine in the 70s that leaving open stopes resulted in the stopes caving in, loss of 15 percent of the ore and safety issues.

Mineral, surface rights separated

Grunwald said the company has acquired mineral rights but would probably need to negotiate with landowners who still own surface rights. According to the Behre Dolbear report, "The mineral and surface rights are separated and held by various entities. The majority of the mineral rights at the Kingston and Centennial properties are believed to be held by BRP, with other minority owners; while the mineral rights at the 543S and G-2 chalcocite properties are solely held by BRP. Surface rights over most of the chalcocite deposits and occurrences are held by International Paper Company, while surface rights over the native copper properties are held by various individuals and lot owners." (See section 1.3 of report)

Gina Nicholas, a Keweenaw County resident, said she was somewhat familiar with the Behre Dolbear report and the properties Highland Resources hopes to explore for potential mining and lives in one area targeted by the report.

"My understanding is more exploration and research are needed before they can re-open or develop these mines," Nicholas said. "A lot has to come together before they can open a mine."

Nicholas noted the maps in the report are not very detailed and the report is a re-cap of exploration done in the past. New exploration and research would have to answer such questions as, "Does this exploration corroborate what we already know?" and "Is it economically feasible (to mine here again)?" How technology changes in the next three years could also be a factor in the feasibility, she added.

Nicholas serves on the board of directors of several organizations with land in Keweenaw County including the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District, Gratiot Lake Conservancy and Keweenaw Community Forest Company, an organization that manages over 4,000 acres of working forest for others. Nicholas noted that she has begun to verify mineral rights for these properties as time permits and notes that the records for some properties go back as far as the 1840s.

Landowners wishing information on researching their mineral rights can contact Karen Maidlow, DNR (Department of Natural Resources) Property Analyst, Lansing , MI. Phone: 517-373-7677.

Company needs to notify DEQ if/when they decide to drill

Melanie Humphrey, geological technician in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals, said the company has contacted her and she has read the Behre Dolbear report. She said the company has not yet given her a specific time when they plan to begin exploratory drilling, but they would need to notify her if and when they decide to drill since she would need to know the location in order to know how the rules apply.

"The way the rules are written (Part 625) for (test well) drilling," Humphrey said, "if the first bedrock (they hit) is pre-cambrian they would not need a permit."

The Western UP is outside the Michigan Basin, Humphrey explained, so the bedrock is very old (pre-cambrian) and exempted from some of the rules in Part 625.******

"If they find an ore body they would definitely need a list of permits, depending what their activity is," Humphrey added.

So far she has no details on their plans, Humphrey told Keweenaw Now on March 26, 2012. Moreover, drilling information is proprietary information so it would have to be released by the company, she explained.

Notes:

* Click here to access the Highland Resources Web site.

** Click here to access the Behre Dolbear technical report on this project.

*** Click here for more on National Instrument 43-101.

**** See Historic Resources.

***** The Ropes gold mine was closed after a crown pillar cave-in occurred in December, 1987. See photos on pasty.com. In addition, mercury pollution from processing gold from the Ropes Mine played a role in a total ban on fish consumption in nearby Deer Lake. Read about the Ropes Mine in "Déjà vu at the old Humboldt Mill," by Gabriel Caplett.

****** Click here for Part 625 rules on Michigan's Mineral Well Operations.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

UPEC's Celebration of the U.P. to be March 30-31 in Marquette

MARQUETTE -- The fourth annual Celebration of the U.P., sponsored by the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC), will be held on Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, at the Landmark Inn, Peter White Public Library and the Federated Women’s Clubhouse (the corners of Front Street and Ridge Street) in Marquette.

Photographer and filmmaker George Desort will kick off the event on Friday evening with tales of 38 days alone on Isle Royale, where he gathered footage for his latest film project, Fifty Lakes One Island. Carl Lindquist will provide a prelude with original piano compositions inspired by Lake Superior.

On Saturday, fifteen speakers will provide a series of talks between 10 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. -- covering such topics as painting winter, historic 3-D photography, search and rescue training, biking, community gardening, and Native American perspectives on the U.P. From 3 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., a panel discussion on "Lifeways on the Land" will take place in the Community Room of the Peter White Library. The panel will feature two Alpaca farmers, several camp-owning couples, and one non-landowner, and will explore human connections to the land.

A public reception following the panel will convene at the Federated Women’s Clubhouse. Buck LaVasseur’s recent episode of "Discovering" in celebration of the life of Dr. Bill Robinson, a founding member of UPEC, will be shown.

For more information, see upenvironment.org, click here for the schedule, or call Mary Martin at 906-225-0586 or e-mail her at marycharmar@gmail.com.