Wakefield receives Highland Copper update



Wakefield TOWNSHIP — Tim Lynott, of Highland Copper, briefed Wakefield Township regarding progress to open the Copperwood mine in the township.

The ecological mitigation from the damage caused by the early thaw is complete, according to John Cox, supervisor.

Lynott wanted to know if the township was prepared to work on County 519 and the increased traffic the mine will bring to the road.

Cox said the township received a grant to rebuild County 519 six years ago, but did not use it because of the delays on the property when it was owned by another outfit.

Cox said the township will re-apply for the grant because the township supports Highland’s efforts.

Lynott said Highland’s feasibility study is expected to be complete in the middle of 2018 and depending on many matters, they expect to begin mining by 2020.

One issue that needs to be addressed in the feasibility study is how water will be run to the site.

Water could be drawn from Lake Superior or a new line could be run from the existing piping, according to Cox.

Another area of need is power, either on-site or by having a new line run to the facility.

Cox said these and many more answers will be available in the study, because right now the answers are not available.

The township set an October deadline for a Truth in Taxation meeting with the public. According to Cox, voters supported a 3 mill increase to fund the township, but inflation has resulted in the actual increase only being 2.83 mills. The township would like to increase the millage by .0052, which would equal approximately $1,100. The Truth in Taxation hearing will allow the residents to express their views on the millage bump.

Cox reported Extreme Tool had a party for an employee receiving his journeyman’s card and is impressed with the company and its willingness to support its employees. Cox said they have around 100 employees and run two plants in the industrial park. He hopes to bring local high school students on a tour of the plant so they can see what is done and how good the jobs are.

The three gravel roads the township wanted to repair are complete. The township used its $25,000 grant of gravel from Gogebic County to repair the Jack Spur Road, Old M-28 and Willing Road. Cox said none of the roads receive a lot of traffic.

The township instituted additional safeguards with its record-keeping by assigning the clerk to sign off on the treasurer’s reports when checks are signed.