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Blasting Begins at Eagle Rock

Despite continued opposition to the development of mining operations at the base of Eagle Rock on the Yellow Dog Plains, Kennecott Eagle Minerals began the first stages of boring the tunnel that will be used to extract ore from underneath the Salmon-Trout River. On September 22, 2011, charges were set so that drilling and excavation could begin. The tunnel is expected to be 17 feet in diameter and run into the ground to the base of the ore body. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community representatives visited the site and made ceremonial offerings.

Attempts to halt the drilling were made by co-petitioners in the Ingham County Circuit Court. A motion of stay was requested of Judge Paula Manderfield, who is currently reviewing two appeals cases from the petitioners. The stay was requested in order to prevent damage to the site before a ruling on the appeals case was made. Judge Manderfield did not grant the stay, citing that Eagle Rock was not a religious site. The appeals case is still open and is expected to be ruled on sometime this fall.