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Letter challenged

December 15, 2012
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

In his recent letter to the editor (SWP misses mark, Dec. 9), Jeffery Lohman inaccurately asserts the regulatory review process and ultimate issuance of permits for the Eagle Mine was flawed.

We disagree. He also makes statements about the Community Environmental Monitoring Program. We feel his statements are misleading and need to be addressed.

As part of the CEMP we provided the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) all of our baseline environmental data. This includes the comprehensive geochemical analysis of a representative sample of core from Eagle that was included in our mine permit application.

The geochemical analysis includes ore, waste rock, and extensive long-term Acid Rock Drainage characterization studies. You can find a copy of our mine permit application at the Peter White Public Library.

We have an ongoing geochemistry program to continuously collect samples from the underground workings for evaluation. There have been no substantial differences between the geochemical data in the permit application and the ongoing geochemistry program.

Eagle's funding of the CEMP is at arm's length. We have committed to fund $1.2 million to the CEMP over the next three years. Funding is paid into an account held by the Marquette County Community Foundation (MCCF). Once the dollars are provided to the fund, they cannot be returned. The monitoring is conducted by SWP, who is then paid by the MCCF for their work. A full year of funding was provided for the third quarter of 2012.

Should the two parties have a disagreement the independently selected CEMP Oversight Board will act as a referee between Eagle Mine and SWP. You can find more information on the CEMP at

I appreciate the opportunity to provide this clarification, and welcome your questions anytime by emailing or by calling 486-1257.

Daniel Blondeau, advisor

Communications & Media Relations

Rio Tinto



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