By Howard Meyerson
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A newly updated proposal from Graymont Inc., the Canadian mining company seeking to buy state land for a limestone mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, was submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources late last month. State officials say it currently under review and a final decision has been postponed.
“Because we got a late revision, we need time to digest the changes they made,” said Bill O’Neill, Michigan’s state forester and chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “The customers and interested public also need time. This will give everyone a chance to understand the change.”
DNR director, Keith Creagh, was to decide the fate of the proposed land purchase at the February 12 Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing. That decision was pushed back until March at the earliest. Creagh, however, approved a second Graymont proposal for a 1,717.6- acre exchange of mineral rights. The company proposed swapping mineral rights it owns under state land for minerals the state owns under U.S. Forest Service land. State officials say the exchange was desirable.
“The mineral exchange unifies surface and mineral rights for the state, which meets one of our public land and mineral management goals,” said Ed Golder, public information officer for the DNR. “The exchange does not guarantee that mining will take place. Graymont will have to work through the Forest Service if it plans to undertake mining on those minerals.” Continue reading