Ore Deposits Class Visits Eagle Mine, Michigamme, Michigan


Mar 18, 2014 Bookmark and Share

Associate Professor Adam Simon and students in his ore deposits class visited several mines on Michigan's Upper Peninsula in mid-March. The highlight was an underground tour of the Eagle mine, which is set to begin production by 2016 and will produce 360 million pounds of nickel and 295 million pounds of Cu.  This was the first underground mine tour for most of the participants, and introduced them to both the engineering and safety aspects of mining thousands of feet below the surface and the role of geologists to fully define the deposit in three dimensions by using drill core and modeling. The group spent time on the surface at Eagle with UM alumnus Dan Wiitala (BS Geology, 1986, now vice president of North Jackson Company in Marquette, MI) who continues to play a key role in evaluating the possible environmental impact of the Eagle Mine. We visited the Keweenaw Peninsula, an historic world-class copper district, and spent time with Highland Copper Company who allowed us access to their drill core and discussed their active exploration program for several underground copper mines.  The field trip concluded with a visit to the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan State University, where UM alumnus Chris Stefano, curator, gave us a wonderful behind-the-scenes tour.  This was a fantastic trip and will hopefully become a fixture of the ore deposits course.