|Project Names: Empire Mine and Tilden Mine
Project Lead: Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company
Location of Projects: 1842 Treaty territory in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Marquette Iron Range in Palmer, MI, near Ishpeming, MI (click here to see a bird's eye view).
Minerals: magnetite and hematite (low grade iron-ore)
Type of Mine: open-pits; Tilden is 2 miles long by 1/2 mile wide and Empire is 1 mile across and 1,200 feet deep.
Production life: Empire has been in operation since the 1964 and may shut down by 2015. Tilden has operated since 1989 and may continue operations for another 30 years.
Impacts and Concerns:
- Scale of land alteration - over hundreds of square miles of permanent mine pits and waste storage sites
- Large amounts of water and energy used during processing
- Mercury emissions
- Air quality associated with nitrogen oxide (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions
- Tailings and elevated levels of selenium
- Impacts to traditional fishery resource at Goose Lake
- Economic impacts when Empire closes
- Mine closure and reclamation plans for Empire
Status: In-operation. On January 15, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a Federal Implementation Plan to set air pollution standards for the Tilden Mine along with five other taconite facilities in Minnesota.
Update on Selenium Projects at Tilden and Empire Mines