FELCH, Mich. (AP) — The owner of a former iron mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula wants to clean up the site and could use it to produce aggregate products such as stone, sand and gravel.
Rockwood "Rocky" Bullard III is president of Michigan Mining LLC, which has owned the former Groveland Mine property in Dickinson County since 2000. He told The Daily News of Iron Mountain (http://bit.ly/SJnlTA ) the company's plans for the 2,200-acre site likely would be expensive but would create jobs.
"The Groveland Mine is rich in all kinds of resources," he said.
The Groveland Iron Ore Mine once produced 2 million tons of pellets a year and employed 500 people. It began as an underground mine in the 1800s and was converted to an open pit mine in the 1940s or 1950s. The mine closed in 1981. Bullard said the property still has good roads and rail access.
"There are no automatic solutions," he said. "It is very expensive to develop aggregate or anything at the Groveland property."
Roads leading to private property or the Groveland Mine site have been posted as no trespassing or hunting, and gates also block access to the site.
The former owner of the mine, the Hanna Mining Co., donated more than 5,600 acres in the area to the state in 1988 and the Groveland Recreation Area was created. This land is part of the Copper County State Forest, and that is open to the public for fishing, hunting and other recreational activities.
Michigan Mining wants to develop the former mine site in a way that is positive for the area, Bullard said. He said the site has some unique aspects that would make it a good place for producing aggregate products.
"It's very, very hard, very blocky, and it is especially good for certain applications," he said.
Information from: The Daily News, http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com