Lundin takes over Eagle

MARQUETTE – Rio Tinto officials announced Wednesday the sale of its Eagle Mine to Lundin Mining of Toronto, Ont. has been finalized and Lundin will now assume day-to-day management of the copper and nickel mine in Michigamme Township.

“I sincerely thank all those people that have contributed to the success of Eagle Mine. I extend my thanks to the community, employees and contractors for their dedication to developing a world class mine that we are all proud of,” said Adam Burley, President of Rio Tinto Eagle Mine. “Rio Tinto has laid a solid foundation for Eagle Mine. We believe Eagle has a bright future under Lundin’s stewardship.”

The $325 million sale was announced last month and was subject to regulatory approvals.

The transaction includes sale of the underground copper and nickel Eagle Mine, the Humboldt Mill and the mineral, water, access and surface rights around the mine.

Lundin will spend another $400 million through 2014 to bring the mine and mill into production. Total capital expenditure for the Eagle project is estimated at $770 million. Rio Tinto workers at the mine will transition to working for Lundin.

“We are very pleased to close the acquisition of this high-quality asset early, and especially pleased to see the high level of activity on site already as construction ramps up,” said Lundin President and CEO Paul Conibear.

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto officials also said Wednesday Burley is leaving the Eagle Mine for a new Rio Tinto role in Salt Lake City. He will remain on the job until the end of the month. No replacement has been named yet.

Production at the mine is scheduled to commence in late 2014.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.