Today marks another milestone in the ongoing development of the Eagle Mine and Humboldt Mill projects - keys components in the future economic prosperity of Marquette County.
In June, Rio Tinto announced that it had reached a binding agreement to sell its 100 percent interest in the Eagle Mine to Lundin Mining Corp. of Canada. Since that announcement, the transaction received regulatory approval and the sale was finalized last week.
Today, in recognition of this achievement, Rio Tinto and Lundin Mining planned to hold a ceremony celebrating the change in ownership of Eagle Mine.
Officials from both companies and guests from around the county were set to meet at the Humboldt Mill near Champion for a "handover" ceremony at noon.
Bearing out our initial impressions of the $325 million sale, the ownership transition has gone smoothly, and Lundin has committed to hewing to the sound plans, staffing level, tax agreements, community outreach and environmental monitoring commitments Rio Tinto has made for the project.
Lundin officials have assured the community their company wants to build on the Rio Tinto team and continue to be deeply involved in Marquette County. So far, they've done nothing to make us doubt Lundin's commitment to be - in the words of Lundin's senior vice president of projects for the company, Paul McRae - "part of the fabric, part of the local environment."
We want to take the opportunity on the occasion of this ceremonial event to welcome the Lundin team to the county and say goodbye to Adam Burley, president of the Eagle Mine under Rio Tinto ownership. Burley is leaving the Eagle Mine for a new Rio Tinto role in Salt Lake City.
We want to say thank you to Rio Tinto for being a great addition to our community. They have set a standard of excellent community involvement and they have also been great communicators about their project from the beginning.
They made a huge investment in our community and we appreciate the job opportunities that they have brought to our area. Other mining companies can use Rio Tinto as a model on how to integrate themselves successfully into a community.
Thank you Rio Tinto and best of luck in future ventures. Welcome Lundin Mining Corp. to the Marquette community. We look forward to your integration into our community.