LAKE SUPERIOR

Inkjet print of digital illustration on canvas

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is geologically vibrant, with native copper being one of its most abundant raw products. Without the presence and proximity of Lake Superior to these mines, these raw materials would be nearly impossible to extract. Water is integral to mining operations – particularly for the extraction and processing of solid copper and other minerals, which involves quarrying and milling. For nearly fifty years, Michigan – producing nearly eighty percent of United States copper – was the nation’s leading producer of copper. 

 

Pictured: the Calumet & Hecla Shaft No. 9 & 10 in Calumet, Michigan ca. 1869; a group of miners ca. 1906; sluicing (rinsing mined materials with a stream of water) ca. 1884; an unnamed coal miner ca. 1940s.

© 2020 Alison Burnell

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