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Michigan Copper Mines

September 26th, 2013 No comments

By Bob Weed, Copper Development Association (CDA) Vice President and OEM

I found a very interesting article by Kathleen Lavey in the Lansing State Journal about the Eagle Mine that is just starting production in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It details the careful planning and concern about the environment that took place as the mine was developed. She also shot some excellent video of the underground mine and the technological obstacles that had to be overcome. Read more…

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Calumet Theatre in “Copper Country” – Calumet, MI

August 18th, 2010 No comments

Photo Courtesy of Michigan Tech Archives

By Kris Palmer, CDA communications consultant

Kris Palmer is a communications consultant for the CDA. She and her family toured the Quincy Mines and visited the Calumet Theatre in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in July.  She shares her adventures and insights about the copper industry in Coppertalk.

The Calumet Theatre, located in the city of Calumet in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula “Copper Country,” opened in March 1900 and was one of the first municipal theatres in the country.  Taxes on Calumet’s numerous saloons helped make the project possible while theatre patrons enjoyed years of first-class entertainment by famous Broadway Actors.  The Calumet Theatre has been restored to its former glory, and is now only missing its beautiful electric copper chandelier (which fell and broke years ago).  The interior has been re-painted using rich colors to recapture the original proscenium murals.  In 1900, there was a second-story ballroom built over the village offices for use as a dinner and dance venue.  This space is still in active use today.  Tourists come from across the country to not only see the beautifully restored theatre but to experience what life was like during the boom years of the early copper mining industry in northern Michigan.  Although Calumet is no longer a bustling city as it once was, the copper mines from the turn of the century have left a legacy of elegance and beauty found in the historic Calumet Theatre.   Read more…

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A Copper Country Tour of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Part 2 of 2)

August 12th, 2010 No comments

By Kris Palmer, CDA communications consultant

Kris Palmer is a communications consultant for the CDA. She and her family toured the Quincy Mines and visited the Calumet Theatre in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in July.  She shares her adventures and insights about the copper industry in Coppertalk.

Ingenuity

Above the surface of the mine we met with tour guide Carol Dolata who showed us the “Nordberg Steam Hoist,” an engineering feat that took one year to re-assemble inside a building that was designed specifically for the massive hoisting drum, steam engine, and operations.  The thick steel rope or cable on the drum can reach up to 10,000 feet on the incline.  The new hoist and building which cost the Quincy Mine Company more than $370,000 in 1918 could move larger 10-ton ore capacity skips (total weight 13 tons) at a rate of 3,200 feet per minute or about 36 miles per hour.  The hoist, which was reconstructed in a reinforced concrete building with brick veneer and Italian tiled walls, served the Quincy Mine for only eleven years – from 1920 to 1931 – but it ran 24 hours a day.  Today the massive steam hoist remains an engineering marvel and is still known as the world’s largest steam mine hoist.  The building now contains many exhibits including the train layout representing the activities of the Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad.

Our trip into the Quincy Copper Mine gave me and my family an appreciation for the hard work and sacrifices that were made both by the mine workers who risked their lives to provide a better future for their families and by the investors who risked a fortune to fund a copper mine.    Read more…

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A Copper Country Tour of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Part 1 of 2)

August 9th, 2010 No comments

By Kris Palmer, CDA communications consultant

Kris Palmer is a communications consultant for the CDA.  She and her family toured the Quincy Mines and visited the Calumet Theatre in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in July.   She shares her adventures and insights about the copper industry in Coppertalk.

Two words came to mind as my family and I embarked on a tour in mid- July of the old Quincy Copper Mine overlooking Houghton and Hancock in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula…“Resilience” and “Ingenuity.”  To begin, the miners who worked in Quincy Mine, one of the first major copper producing companies in the world, used to climb long ladders down into the mine – we took the cog-wheel tram down a steep hill offering a panoramic view of the Houghton Lift-Bridge.  At the bottom of the hill we put on our hard hats and foul weather gear, provided by the Historic 1894 Hoist House, and took an underground train through a horizontal mine tunnel opening called an “adit.”  Our trip into the mine took about 15 semi-cozy minutes.  For the miner of 1846 a one-way trip could take up to 2 bone-chilling, dark hours.

Read more…

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Copper Markers Provide a Glimpse into America’s Past

September 9th, 2009 No comments

This article is not about markers made of copper. While many of the markers I found in researching it were fashioned from copper or one of its alloys, what really intrigued me was the copper storyline that emerged, the artifacts of America’s centuries-old relationship with copper.

Recently, in the course of one of those online meanderings we all succumb to now and then, I came across The Historical Marker Database (HMDB)Old Copper Culture Cemetery marker, an illustrated, searchable online catalog for people who like to share, according to the site’s tagline, “bite-size bits of local, national, and global history”.

The HMDB has hundreds of photographs, inscription transcriptions, marker locations, maps, commentaries, and links to more information. With one search, I knew I had hit pay dirt. I found fascinating remnants of copper mining and manufacturing history, told through the statues, plaques, monuments, and documentation submitted by citizen historians all over the country – and a great place to while away an afternoon.

The HMDB database can be filtered by state or country, historical period, industry, or some sixty other categories, as well as by keyword. My keyword, copper, yielded more than a few “bite-size bits” in which the semi-precious metal played a role.

These words are from a road sign in Copper Hill, New Jersey:

By 1816 copper ore was found here, and north towards Flemington. The mining craze lasted through 1865. It was never profitable, but gave Copper Hill its name. Erected 2009 by Hunterdon County Cultural And Heritage Commission. Read more…

Rio Tinto a Winner at the Stevie Awards™

July 30th, 2009 No comments

CDA member, Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest mining companies, and Vérité, a digital communications agency, received two 2009 American Business Awards last week.

fromoretomore.pshpd.200wThey won the Stevie Award for Best Animated Film in the public relations category for their film “From Ore to More”, which tells the story of the lifecycle of copper at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper. The film is viewed in schools, on the Web, and by tour groups.

They also accepted a Stevie Finalist Award for Best Integrated Marketing Campaign in the metals and mining category for their “We’re part of something bigger”campaign. The campaign consists of TV and radio spots, a Web site, prints ads, and various ribbon and video banners for use at Rio Tinto Stadium.

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