MARQUETTE, MI-- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is letting a mining company do exploratory drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
The DNR issued a use permit to Orvana Resources—a subsidiary of Highland Copper—to conduct the drilling on a one-square-mile piece of land along the westernmost edge of the park in Gogebic County. Work began Sunday and is expected to continue into early March, weather permitting.
If results indicate the potential for copper in suitable quality and minable quantities, Highland Copper will conduct a feasibility study. Under the plan the deposit would be mined entirely by underground methods. The company would access the ore body from land it owns outside the park.
Any potential mining would require a separate regulatory process through the Department of Environmental Quality.