Most mining investors probably missed a small but potentially critical item this week — from local press in one of America’s most important re-emerging mining districts.
That’s Michigan. Where a state government committee is moving ahead with measures to support copper mining. Related: How Far Can The Syria Conflict Spiral Out Of Control: Interview With Pelicourt
Michigan’s Senate Natural Resources committee recommended for adoption Senate Bill 591, to aid small-scale native copper miners in the state’s Upper Peninsula region.
The main aim of the bill is to reduce the amount of permitting required around small copper mines here. With the bill’s champions saying the move will help create new operations and new jobs in the sector.
Although apparently limited in scale, this is an interesting move from the Michigan government. Given that the state has recently been one of the leaders in opening new mining operations in America.
Michigan is the site of the one of the newest mines across the U.S. — the Eagle nickel-copper operation, commissioned in late 2014 by Lundin Mining (after it was pioneered by Rio Tinto).
The ramp-up of Eagle the past year has been very smooth and successful for Lundin. Demonstrating that Michigan — which boasts a rich mining history, but little activity in recent years — is serious about supporting the industry.
This week’s move to help small-scale mining is another example of this commitment. Suggesting that Michigan continues to be a spot to watch in the ongoing renaissance of mineral activity across America. Related: The Pain Game – How Low Can Oil Prices Go?
Such pro-mining sentiment is all the more important today, given that nearby states like Minnesota and Montana are looking at permitting their first new mines in decades. Supportive moves from Michigan could help sway lawmakers in these places — especially if the economic benefits of increased mineral activity become apparent in the Upper Peninsula.
The new Michigan bill will be further addressed by the state Senate this week. Watch for results and possible ratification over the coming weeks.
Here’s to a re-mine-der
By Dave Forest
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