Cliffs ticketed for Tilden dust

MARQUETTE – The Marquette County mine inspector said he ticketed Cliffs Natural Resources for a dust problem at the Tilden Mine in 2013, a problem the mining company corrected and the ticket was torn up.

County mine inspector John Carlson detailed the incident in an annual report to the Marquette County Board Tuesday.

According to the report, Carlson initially conducted a safety inspection at the Tilden Mine from Feb. 19-21, 2013 and again from Aug. 24-28.

“I discovered a large amount of dust in the balling area and asked that something be done to clean the air,” Carlson wrote.

Carlson checked the area on Sept. 18 and Oct. 17.

“I issued a citation and gave the company a month to remedy the situation,” Carlson wrote. “When I visited on Nov. 11, the problem had been taken care of and I tore up the citation.”

Carlson said he commends Cliffs for finding a solution to the dust problem. He said he was grateful for the assistance provided by the Marquette County Health Department and county civil counsel Stephen Adamini.

Carlson reported he had spent two days in December at the Tilden as part of the investigation into the death of Gary Hytinen, 61, of Ishpeming, a worker who died after a fall from a railcar.

Carlson inspected Cliffs’ Empire Mine in Palmer in February, March and September 2013. He also inspected the Lundin Mining Corporation’s Humboldt Mill in Humboldt Township in January 2013 and the Eagle Mine in March and August 2013.

Carlson’s report also detailed inspection of just under 100 abandoned mines and pits in 2013, which are situated in Champion, Ely, Ishpeming, Forsyth, Negaunee, Republic, Richmond and Tilden townships, along with Michigamme, Ishpeming and Negaunee.

Carlson said a representative from the RGG Land and Minerals company came in November to inspect 26 mines the company owns in Marquette County. The mines were formerly owned by U.S. Steel Corp. and are located near Palmer, National Mine and Greenwood location. Carlson said some fence repairs were needed, but could not be completed that late in the season.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is jpepin@miningjournal.net.