Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rio Tinto Community Forum to be held in L'Anse May 15; videos: Sept. 2012 forum held in L'Anse

By Michele Bourdieu

Simon Nish, Rio Tinto director of community communications and external relations, explains the Rio Tinto Community Scoring process during the Sept. 26, 2012, community forum in L'Anse. Another Rio Tinto communtiy forum will be held TOMORROW, May 15, 2013, at the L’Anse American Legion Building. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

HUMBOLDT, MICH. -- Rio Tinto will hold a community forum on their Eagle Mine and Humboldt Mill from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with additional time afterwards for discussion, TOMORROW, Wednesday, May 15, at the L’Anse American Legion Building, 115 N. Front St., L'Anse, MI 49946.

This is the third year Rio Tinto has held community forums so the public can learn more about the status of Eagle Mine, participate in its Community Scorecard process, and meet with Eagle representatives, according to Dan Blondeau, Rio Tinto Eagle Mine advisor for Communications and Media Relations.

Blondeau spoke about the forums in a May 6 interview on Marquette's SUNNY Morning Show (101.9 FM, WKQS).*

The forums begin with an update on the Eagle Mine, located near Big Bay, Mich., and the mill in Humboldt, Mich., destined for processing the ore. The company has also moved its local office to Humboldt.

The attendees will then have an opportunity to vote on the community scorecard to evaluate Rio Tinto's performance in the areas of environment, safety, economic effects on the community, local hire, safety and transparency. The votes will by followed by discussion, questions and answers.

Superior Watershed Partnership, the organization doing independent monitoring for the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine, will be present with information on their work.

Two more forums will be held (same evening time as above) this month: Tuesday, May 21, at the Michigamme Township Hall and Wednesday, May 22, at the Powell Township School. Community forums were held last week in Humboldt and Marquette.

Blondeau said results of the scorecards will probably be posted on their Web site by July 2013.**

These forums offer an update six months after the September 2012 Community Forums.

Videos: Discussion from Sept. 26, 2012, Rio Tinto Community Forum held in L'Anse

During the Sept. 26, 2012, Rio Tinto Community Forum in L'Anse, Linda Rulison, president of FOLK (Friends of the Land of Keweenaw), asks about mineral rights and Rio Tinto's reasons for contracting the Superior Watershed Partnership to do independent monitoring of the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine. Simon Nish, Rio Tinto director of community communications and external relations, replies. (Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

At the Sept. 26, 2012, Rio Tinto Community Forum in L'Anse, Michigan, participants in the audience vote to rate the company's environmental performance for the Eagle Mine.

At the Sept. 26, 2012, Rio Tinto Community Forum in L'Anse, Michigan, audience participants ask questions about the company's policy of local hire for the Eagle Mine.

At the Sept. 26, 2012, Rio Tinto Community Forum in L'Anse, Mich., Keweenaw Bay Indian Community members Jessica Koski and Jeffery Loman question the company's financial assurances against pollution, such as acid mine drainage, at the Eagle Mine.

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community member Jeffery Loman asks Rio Tinto representatives why Eagle Rock was used as the portal to the Eagle Mine, since it is not above the ore body.

Notes:

* Click here for the interview with Dan Blondeau on the SUNNY Morning Show.

** Click here for the Rio Tinto Eagle Mine Web site.

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