Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Company requests MDNR metallic minerals leases in Houghton, Ontonagon, Iron counties; 30-day public comment period

By Michele Bourdieu

This Michigan Department of Natural Resources map shows the parcels (in pink, marked with an M, and one in green in Section 25) in Duncan Township, Houghton County, requested for metallic mineral leases by Trans Superior Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Bitterroot Resources LTD. Click on map for larger version. (Map courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

[Editor's Update: Karen Maidlow, Property Specialist, DNR, Office of Minerals Management, notified Keweenaw Now on Apr. 25, 2016, that the public comment period on these lease requests has been extended to May 31, 2016.]

LANSING -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) reports that Trans Superior Resources, Inc., (a subsidiary of Bitterroot Resources LTD of West Vancouver, BC, Canada) has requested direct metallic minerals leases from the State of Michigan covering MDNR metallic mineral rights located within Houghton, Ontonagon and Iron counties -- totaling approximately more than 3,000 acres.

In a March 14, 2016, news release, parent company Bitterroot Resources states, "The primary exploration targets being pursued on Bitterroot's Voyageur Lands are conduit-hosted, high-grade magmatic nickel-copper-PGM deposits similar to Lundin Mining's Eagle and Eagle East deposits, which are located 65 km NE of the Voyageur Lands."*

The following requests are being announced in published Public Notices:

In Houghton County, Trans Superior has requested a total of 1,286 acres, more or less, further described as: T47N, R37W, Sections 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, and 35 (in Duncan Township).

In Ontonagon County, Trans Superior has requested a total of 1,605 acres, more or less, further described as: T46N, R38W, Sections 3, 15, 16, and 21; T47N, R38W, Sections 25, 27, 34, and 35 (Interior Township).

This map shows the parcels in Interior Township, Ontonagon County, marked with M, that have been requested for metallic mineral leases by Trans Superior Resources, Inc. Click on map for larger version. (Map courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

In Iron County Trans Superior's request is for a total of 160 acres, more or less, further described as: T45N, R36W, Sections 11, 12, and 13 (Iron River Township).

This map shows the parcels (marked with an M) in Sections 11, 12 and 13 of Iron River Township, Iron County, requested for metallic mineral leasing by Trans Superior Resources, Inc. Click on map for larger version. (Map courtesy Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources)

A parcel list showing the legal description of the lands and recommended parcel classifications is available at www.michigan.gov/minerals, "Metallic Minerals Lease Information"; or by contacting Karen Maidlow, Property Specialist, DNR, Office of Minerals Management, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909; or maidlowk@michigan.gov.

According to the Public Notices, written comments from interested parties, relative to the request to lease the specified mineral rights, may be submitted to the MDNR at the contact information listed above no later than 30 days from the actual date of the Public Notice publication.

"We have to be assured that the public has 30 days from the date of the publication to submit their comments, which is why the notice is written that way," Karen Maidlow told Keweenaw Now in an email today. "The applicant told me that the public notices were expected to be published no later than April 6th. If that is the case, the public would need to submit their comments no later than May 6, 2016."

MDNR county nomination maps are available online as follows:

Houghton County:
http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/spatialdatalibrary/pdf_maps/Mineral_Lease_Information/Houghton_nominations.pdf

Ontonagon County:
http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/spatialdatalibrary/pdf_maps/Mineral_Lease_Information/Ontonagon_nominations.pdf 

Iron County:
http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/spatialdatalibrary/pdf_maps/Mineral_Lease_Information/Iron_nominations.pdf 

According to Maidlow, "If you right click on the map and zoom in to the township, range, section, you’ll see pink blocks with a red letter M (signifying the parcel is requested for metallic minerals lease). The pink shading means that the State of Michigan only owns the minerals to that parcel. For the majority of the parcels requested to lease, the land is owned by the US Forest Service and the State of Michigan owns the minerals. There is 1 small parcel (6 acres) in Houghton County, T47N, R37W, Section 25, NWNW where the State owns both the surface and minerals. This parcel shows up as olive green on the map, also with a red letter M."

Trans Superior Resources, Inc., is located at 333 Bridge Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI.

*Learn about the Michigan mineral exploration plans of parent company Bitterroot Resources LTD on their Web site.

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