Copper and nickel to become pennies, nickels in local economy?

Sorry for the headline. If you’ve ever had to write newspaper headlines you spend the rest of your life unable to lay off the puns. They’re like crack. Anyway, check this out: more mining news from today’s Duluth News-Tribune.

Mining company expands Range copper, nickel deposits estimate
Duluth News Tribune – 12/04/2007

The size of a copper-nickel deposit being explored near Babbitt has been expanded.

Officials of Franconia Minerals Corporation say a new estimate shows an inferred underground resource of 124.4 million tons of copper and nickel at what’s called the Spruce Road resource.

The Spruce Road estimate is in addition to 100 million tons in a resource at Franconia’s Birch Lake exploration site and an 83 million ton resource at Franconia’s Maturi site near Babbitt. The Spruce Road deposit, part of the Birch Lake project, is about six miles south of the Birch Lake deposit.

A report on the Spruce Road deposit also considers the option of developing an open pit copper-nickel mining operation at Spruce Road with 377 million tons of indicated reserves, according to Franconia Minerals news release.

Franconia Minerals Corp. has for several years been exploring deposits of copper, nickel, platium, palladium and other precious metals near Babbitt.

By the end of the year, Franconia expects to complete an 18-hole, 23,000-foot drill program at Birch Lake, according to a Franconia Minerals news release.

The drilling will provide samples for bench scale and pilot scale metallurgical testing in 2008. A similar exploration pro-gram is in 2008 planned at the Maturi site.

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