IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP — Things are going “slow and steady” with the Copperwood project, the proposed copper mine in Ironwood and Wakefield townships, according to Dave Anderson, of Orvana Resources.
Construction hasn’t started on the site, but the company has obtained all six permits required for mining in Michigan.
Currently, employees are finishing the final design on the underground portions of the mine site and refining the design on the mill to improve concentrated grade.
“We hope to have all of that done by October,” Anderson said. “Then we’ll start big packages and designs in the winter.”
The goal is to begin construction next year. It should be completed in two years.
Despite the fact that mining hasn’t officially started, an economic impact has already been felt, including $19 million being spent in the area since 2008.
In addition, the company has used local businesses and organizations to help make the mine a reality.
“Coleman Engineering has been the lead civil engineer for the project,” Anderson said. “They have a great team of people and we will continue to work with them every step of the way.”
Orvana is working with the Gogebic Range Water Authority to purchase water for the site.
In Orvana’s offices, five local people are employed.
“We will have used local contractors for our road and site work, and for our logging work, we will also use local contractors,” Anderson said.
A major benefit is having the government at the state and local levels supportive of the project, according to Anderson.
On Monday, Gov. Rick Snyder, state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, Michigan Department of Natural Resources director Keith Creagh and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality director Dan Wyant will meet at Orvana offices in Ironwood Township to receive an update on the project.
“They continue to remain very supportive of this project,” Anderson said.
At the local level, Orvana has worked with Gogebic County on wetlands mitigation, as well as a preservation area, over the summer.
“They have been a huge help, and Ironwood Township and Wakefield Township have been incredibly supportive and a huge help,” Anderson said. “We look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”
For more information about the Copperwood Project, call Orvana Resources at 906-364-7577 or visit orvana.com.