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Copper Drilling Resumes at Porcupine Mountains State Park

FILE - Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is seen from an observation tower in the park. Exploratory drilling on the park's western boundary has resumed, but must be completed by April 30. FILE - Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is seen from an observation tower in the park. Exploratory drilling on the park's western boundary has resumed, but must be completed by April 30. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

March 16, 2017 09:39 AM

SILVER CITY, Mich. (AP) - A company that is conducting exploratory drilling for copper at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is resuming a search that was interrupted because of mild weather.

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Highland Copper received a permit from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to do the work - but only on frozen ground, preferably with snow at least one foot deep, to limit surface disturbance.

The update on work resuming was announced this week. The DNR says it's expected to be completed by April 30.

The DNR says Michigan had to allow the drilling because it doesn't own rights to minerals beneath the park lands.

The exploratory drilling is taking place on a 1-mile-square piece of property along the park's westernmost edge. The Michigan DNR said most of the park, including the Presque Isle River, will be unaffected by the work.

If the company were to mine copper, it would have to gain access to the underground ores from outside park boundaries and prove it wouldn't damage surface rivers and forests.


WDIO

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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