The private club on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula claims construction of new nickel and copper mines would damage wetlands, wildlife and property values.
The Huron Mountain Club, originally founded as a private hunting and fishing club northwest of Marquette, Mich. on the state’s Upper Peninsula, is suing Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co. for not obtaining the proper federal permits for the construction of nickel and copper mines, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The club, which now devotes much of its activities to environmental preservation, also claims the project would damage the Salmon Trout River and nearby wetlands while putting endangered species, property values and an American Indian worship site at risk. The suit claims that permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are required before proceeding.
“Kennecott’s unauthorized construction work and proposed operation of the Eagle Mine consequently are illegal,” the suit said.
The Huron Mountain Club owns 19,000 acres of forested property that come within 3.3 miles of the mine site. The club has 250 members.
Kennecott Eagle is a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, which is based in London, England. Kennecott applied for a state permit for the mine in 2006, which was approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Construction of surface facilities is nearly complete, and drilling of an underground tunnel remains halfway finished.
If the Corps issue the permits, an analysis of potential environmental effects would be necessary, said Rick Addison, an attorney for the Huron Mountain Club.