LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has received revisions of a land transaction application and a mineral exchange application from Graymont, Inc.
The company is proposing development of a limestone mining operation in northern Mackinac County near the town of Rexton. The land transaction application amends an October 2014 application. The mineral exchange application amends a June 2014 submission.
Land transaction application
In comparison to earlier Graymont proposals, the revised land transaction application seeks to address concerns raised by the public and the DNR. The general format of the proposal has been changed to make it easier to read. The proposal is unchanged in the total amount and location of public land in the application.
The application continues to propose royalty payment for the limestone to be mined. Under the application, Graymont would pay the state 18.75 cents for each ton of extracted limestone. Those royalties would be deposited into the State Parks Endowment Fund.
The entire revised proposal can be found at www.michigan.gov/
“The DNR has reviewed the company’s proposal for environmental, legal and social impacts,” said Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “DNR representatives have met with Graymont to define our concerns.” A memo detailing department comments on the revised land transaction application can be found on the DNR website.
As with the company’s most recent proposal, this application seeks to acquire limestone mining privileges on approximately 10,357 acres of state-owned land.
Revisions in the new proposal include:
- An increase of 801 acres of land to be purchased rather than exchanged (Tract E).
- A list of proposed exchange lands have been provided by Graymont and would provide immediate replacement of public property by equal or greater value. These proposed exchange lands will be evaluated by DNR to ensure they are of equal or greater value.
- A proposed value for all of the tracts.
- A dispute resolution process.
- A new format to improve clarity.
Proceeds from the direct sale of lands would be available for the purchase of additional public land. Graymont has indicated that public access will continue to be permitted on lands it proposes to acquire, except where active mining or processing is occurring.
The DNR would continue to manage the surface of the proposed underground mine location for recreational, environmental and economic values, including timber management.
The proposal includes the ability for Graymont to designate a maximum of 360 acres of “exclusive use” in Tract D for mining infrastructure such as mine portals, vent shafts, water holding basins, etc.
“Feedback from the public remains a critical component of the review process and will be taken into consideration before any decisions are made,” O’Neill said. “Staff will provide a recommendation to DNR Director Keith Creagh at the Jan. 15 Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing. Following a public meeting in the Rexton area later this month, the proposal will be before Director Creagh for a decision at the February Natural Resources Commission meeting.”
Mineral exchange application
Also at the Feb. 12 NRC meeting, Director Creagh will likely make a decision on Graymont’s revised mineral exchange application. The new mineral exchange proposal can be found on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/
This proposal seeks to exchange more than 1,700 acres of state-owned minerals under the Hiawatha National Forest in Chippewa County for 1,700 acres of Graymont-owned minerals under state-owned lands in northern Mackinac County. This application includes a proposed royalty payment of 20 cents per ton through the end of 2037.
There are multiple ways people can provide comments about the proposal. In addition to the public meeting in the Rexton area, the public will have an opportunity to make comments at upcoming NRC meetings.
The DNR continues to maintain an email address for the public to comment. Interested parties may send comments to DNR-GraymontProposalComments@
Mailed comments can be sent to the Roscommon Customer Service Center, ATTN: Kerry Wieber, 8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon, MI 48653.
Comments will be accepted until a final decision is made.
An additional press release will announce the date, time and location of the public meeting once information is confirmed.
For a map including each tract and more information, visit www.michigan.gov/