IRONWOOD — Without much fanfare, the company that plans on purchasing the former White Pine mine drilled for ore samples north of Ironwood over the summer.
Ross Grunwald, vice-president of exploration for the Highland Copper Company Inc ., told an audience of about 30 people Thursday at Gogebic Community College that the company had test drilled in the Bald Mountain area, near Lake Superior.
The focus of the meeting was the former White Pine mine and some of the people attending the public session seemed surprised that there is interest in developing the Bald Mountain area, as well.
Grunwald produced a map generated by his company that lists Bald Mountain as a mining exploration area.
During the question and answer portion of the meeting, he said the company plans to do more exploratory drilling near Bald Mountain, indicating Highland Copper is the first mining firm to explore that area.
Grunwald said there’s potential for more ore body discoveries in other locations in the western Upper Peninsula, as well.
The company would like to produce more employment in the U.P. and it has already been doing that, Grunwald said.
Highland Copper, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Keweenaw Copper Company, has 21 full-time employees.
Grunwald said the U.P. company is only two and one-half years old and he joked it hired “almost the whole graduating class” of Michigan Technological University in Houghton two years ago, or 13 graduates.
Some interesting facts relating to copper surfaced at the public meeting. For example, Grunwald said a person uses almost 1,000 pounds of copper in his or her lifetime.
Around 130 million cell phones are discarded annually and they contain copper.
Other areas of growth for the copper industry include the conversion to more hybrid and fully-electric cars, which use more copper than gasoline-powered vehicles, and in wind energy equipment.
Highland Copper, of Calumet, can be reached at 906-337-5988. Highlandcopper.com has extensive details regarding company projects.