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Environmental groups lose appeal over Eagle mine

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LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a decision by state environmental regulators to allow construction of the Eagle nickel and copper mine in Marquette County. 

A three-judge panel unanimously sided with the Department of Environmental Quality, which issued mining and groundwater discharge permits to Kennecott Eagle Minerals. The mine is now owned by Lundin Mining Corporation.

DEQ officials approved a mining permit for the project in 2007, drawing legal challenges from environmentalists and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. A DEQ administrative law judge and a circuit court judge affirmed the department's decisions, and opponents took the case to the Court of Appeals.

The mine has been constructed and is scheduled to begin producing minerals this fall.