Lundin Corp. awards trucking contract for Eagle Mine hauling

HUMBOLDT – Lundin Mining Corp. officials have announced the company has finalized its trucking contract for hauling nickel and copper ore from the Eagle Mine in Michigamme Township to the Humboldt Mill in Humboldt Township.

M.J. VanDamme Trucking of Cornell was awarded the contract and the company will own and operate a fleet of nine new trucks to be used in the hauling. The trucks will run on diesel fuel over the roughly 60-mile route each way.

“The existing roads will be used at least for the short term while a long-term solution for truck traffic is being investigated,” said Dan Blondeau, Lundin spokesman. “Eagle continues to meet with local officials and other users to identify a long-term route.”

That short-term trucking route will be from the mine heading east along the Triple A Road to Marquette County Road 510 to County Road 550 south to Sugar Loaf Avenue to Wright Street to U.S. 41 west to M-95 to County Road 601 and the mill.

The longer term solution being explored is expected to bypass the city of Marquette. Mining company officials previously estimated the mining truck traffic along Wright Street in Marquette would be about 3 percent of the overall truck traffic on Wright Street.

“On average, a person will see four trucks per hour along the route,” Blondeau said.

About 45 round trips will be made each day. The trucks will be new and meet the newest emissions and safety standards. All of the drivers will be trained and certified.

“All rigs will be equipped with a vehicle monitoring system, which will monitor location, speed, braking and other driving conditions,” Blondeau said.

The trucks will have side-dump trailers and the loads will be covered when transporting the ore. Trucks and trailers will be washed prior to leaving the mine. The trucks will each weigh about 160,000 pounds when loaded, a weight Blondeau said is similar to other loaded aggregate and logging trucks.

The trucks will adhere to all Michigan Department of Transportation guidelines, including those for length and weight.

Blondeau said the Eagle mining project remains on budget and is scheduled to begin production during the fourth quarter of this year. Full production is slated to begin next year and last for eight years.