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Sulfide Mining goes to the movies

For more on this issue visit Save the Wild UP and also check out Anatomy of a mine: Lansing hearings put U.P. wilderness on trial from the Lansing City Pulse:

The hearings hit hard rock Wednesday, April 30, when a white-haired man in suspenders slowly made his way to the stand, leaning on a cane.

Jack Parker, a geologic engineer and author of “Practical Rock Mechanics for Miners,” told the judge he began evaluating drill cores, or samples from proposed mines, 60 years ago.

“Six-oh,” he said, to avoid confusion.

Parker rang a theme that subsequent witnesses would hammer hard: The Eagle Mine designs, he said, were based on partial data about the rock, optimistically interpreted, often by computer modeling rather than direct inspection.

Parker worked for decades as a miner and later became a consultant at hundreds of mines, most recently at White Pine Mine, 75 miles west of Houghton. He spoke in a whisper — nobody wanted to think about the buildup in his lungs — and his gravitas lent the legal proceedings a rocky heft. Even a witness later called by Kennecott, Idaho’s Wilson Blake, acknowledged that Parker is an industry “icon.”