Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Second Advisor

Dr. David Lemberg

Third Advisor

Dr. Joseph Stoltman

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Al Gedicks

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Michigan has become a frontier for metallic sulfide mining due to a high global demand for minerals and a major concentration of sulfide deposits found throughout its Midcontinent Rift. Metallic sulfide mining is challenging, especially in a water-rich state like Michigan. The disturbance of a sulfide deposit during mining activity exposes the sulfide ore to air and water, which can result in sulfuric acid. Subsequently, precipitation can cause sulfuric acid to drain from the mine site, polluting surface water and groundwater. Recently, a corporation called Kennecott Minerals has proposed a metallic sulfide mine called the Eagle Project in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, on the Yellow Dog Plains. The Eagle Project will be the first under Michigan's new legislation regulating nonferrous metallic sulfide mining. This research examines the environmental and resulting social consequences of sulfide mining. As opposition to mining projects grow more powerful around the world, mining corporations are using public relations strategies to stifle the opposition. So far, Kennecott has used public relations strategies such as extensive mineral exploration and leasing, negotiation, risk assessment, and persuasive rhetoric to gain state approval for its Eagle Project.

Included in

Geography Commons