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LAYING CLAIM TO NATURE'S TREASURE CHEST
PART 2 of 2

 

 

 

 

Carole "CJ" Williams
February 23, 2006
NewsWithViews.com

What most Michiganders don’t realize is that the Michigamme Highlands, now under State and Nature Conservancy control, was a piece of the Conservancy’s “conservation puzzle,” which they managed to fit in place.

Under the heading, “Nature Conservancy Targets Yellow Dog Plains and Michigamee Highlands,” a Michigan Environmental Council report reads: “A Troubling New Mining Era Dawning in the Upper Peninsula…the transforming reach of a potential mining operation would be very large. The Yellow Dog Plains adjoin the Michigamme Highlands, forming a wild region that stretches 50 miles from Big Bay to L'Anse; it has few roads (almost all closed in winter), no railroads, no electricity or power lines, no permanent settlements (only remote camps and a few self-sufficient homesteads), and mostly healthy natural ecosystems. Such characteristics have made this region one of the largest priority areas in the Upper Peninsula targeted for protection by The Nature Conservancy.”

With the Conservancy, the entire U.P. is a priority target and they won’t be satisfied until they control all of it. You see, God’s Country is a treasure trove of rich natural resources coveted by global corporations and investment trusts whose lust for money sustains China’s greed.

Surely the Conservancy, which professes to be eco-savvy, would know that BHP Billiton Diamonds has located diamonds and other treasures in North West Lake, Michigan. If you look for it on a map you won’t find it because it’s not a town; it’s an area in the coveted Michigamee Highlands near the tiny, economically depressed burg of Republic.

Billiton has offices in Texas, London, Melbourne, and Johannesburg, so what’s it doing in the former mining town of Republic? The answer is simple; like the Conservancy, Billiton has bed partners. One is Dunsmuir Ventures Ltd., a Canadian junior mining company, which emerged as a formidable player in 2002 when it entered into a strategic diamond alliance with Billiton.

The purpose of the alliance is to explore and develop commercial diamond deposits in Canada. In fact, within the next decade or so, Canadian corporations expect to produce 50% of the world’s diamonds.

The concept behind the alliance is that Billiton, having accumulated a large amount of kimberlite indicator mineral data, would allow Dunsmuir certain proprietary access to its database. In return and for a price, Dunsmuir could chose areas of interest for further exploration, and in January 2003, it chose to include North West Lake in its package deal.

While the agreement’s intent is the discovery of diamond bearing kimberlite, there are also provisions regarding non-diamond discoveries, and upon meeting certain conditions, Billiton retains a Back In Right to all non-diamond discoveries.

Knowing the UN Isle Royale Biosphere (1981) lay dormant until Clinton foolishly signed the Biodiversity Treaty in 1994, and on a hunch, yours truly went looking online for uranium deposits, as well as gas and oil, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. What can be found under the Conservancy’s pristine “conservation puzzle,” which supposedly needs “protection” from the human footprint, is truly amazing.

In an October 7, 2004 Haywood Securities’ Mining and Exploration - Uranium Sector Report, Bitterroot Resources Ltd of Vancouver, BC, a company engaged in acquisitions and explorations of mineral properties, is listed as a “Player.”

Bitterroot has been involved with the U.P. since 1996 or before, and signed on as an option/joint-venture partner with Kennecott Exploration involving certain goodies found while exploring mineral leases claimed by a Yooper exploration service.

Bitterroot is also involved in a “Great Michigan Peninsula Joint Venture” with Cameco, a Saskatchewan based global giant. Cameco boasts of being the world’s largest uranium producer and claims it will dominate nuclear energy by producing uranium fuel.

The venture is a complex deal, said to slant in Cameco's favor, which covers an interest area encompassing 784 sq Upper Peninsula miles, of which Bitterroot has mineral right title to only 132. Cameco has the option to earn 65% of everything within the area of interest by spending $23.6 million over 18 years. The agreement is more detailed, but for expediency’s sake, we’ll forego the nitty-gritty.

In reality, Cameco is allowed to vest in various U.P. land units by spending $1 million to $10 million depending on the land unit. Through the deal made, it’s possible for Cameco to "sterilize" exploration on the entire package by focusing on one claim area where its vesting cost is only $1 million. These low-cost units tend to be public lands within an interest area that Bitterroot didn’t have title to when the deal was signed. Because of this, Cameco has been most eager to focus exploration on public land for which applications have already been made, but has been somewhat held up because Michigan is “reviewing” its mineral leasing laws.

At present the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Nature Conservancy, et al, are scrambling to convince the Michigan Supreme Court to reverse an Appeals’ Court decision that the State did not and does not have title to mineral rights on tax reverted land when mineral rights were and are severed from property rights; mineral rights are not taxable and cannot be seized for non-payment of property taxes. Leases to resource exploration and extraction companies fuel the Natural Resource Trust Fund that, in turn, abets land grabbing, but it now appears the State may not own title to mineral rights on some of its public land.

According to a September 2, 2004 online “Kaiser-Bottom-Fishing” report written by market analyst John Kaiser, the then recent weeks of excitement over uranium was drawing attention to Bitterroot’s interest in the U. P., and it’s President and Director was none too happy about it. He’s concerned about land acquisition competition and publicity that would fire up the NIMBY (not in my back yard) bunch.

Much of what follows regarding Bitterroot can be attributed to Mr. Kaiser, but it’s supported by information found elsewhere.

Bitterroot is looking for uranium in the Jacobsville Basin, which covers most of the Western U. P., including the historic Menominee Co. winter deeryard area the MI-DNR is so eager to have.

Though few know it, radioactivity has been found in some Copper Country drinking water and for that reason the Western U. P. District Health Department recommends testing well water in areas east of the Keweenaw Fault, which runs from the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula down to the Wisconsin border. This includes portions of Ontonagon, Gogebic, Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw Counties, but particularly a line north of Jacobsville in Houghton and Keweenaw County where conservancies and land trusts have been very busy controlling land.

In 1996, Bitterroot gained access to a patchwork of claims in a portion of their “targeted area” from a group that could trace its origins back to the Civil War. By the late 1960’s an access road had been built into a rugged portion of the property near the Silver River in Houghton County’s Laird Township. Land in several of the township’s contiguous sections had been subdivided into a patchwork of many 10-acre parcels and a few larger ones, and surface rights had been sold. Bitterroot refers to this patchwork as “Voyageur Lands.”

Some land between the Voyageur Lands belongs to the State of Michigan and although prospecting permits can be granted for state owned land through an application process, the privately owned land presents a problem.

In his 2004 report, Kaiser claimed that Bitterroot’s president had already spent 10 years trying to sort out the land ownership situation because geophysical anomalies pay no attention to mineral title boundaries. Therefore, in order to gain access to the coveted resources, a great deal of secrecy and land acquisition cleverness is a must.

Simply put, Bitterroot targets what land it wants first and then sets about getting it without sounding an alarm, sort of like the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is now doing with their public land boundary review, and what the Conservancy is doing with their “conservation puzzle” all over the U.P.

Bitterroot has two wholly owned Michigan subsidiaries: Voyageur Land Corporation (1996) and Trans Superior Resources (1995), which purchased all Voyageur shares in 1997.

Trans Superior properties include 100% interest in mineral rights on 461 square miles of land extending from the Keweenaw Peninsula and White Pine, south to the Wisconsin border. This includes 204 square miles of Copper Range Lands and 257 square miles of Voyageur Lands.

It’s Kaiser’s contention that the Jacobsville Basin's potential to host high grade unconformity style uranium deposits hasn’t been proven yet, but should it be, Cameco will need Bitterroot's “land skills” to forge ahead with an aggressive land acquisition campaign. And, once that happens, the market will be beating a path to Bitterroot's door.

One thing’s for sure, if the land grabbing and conniving by the State and Conservancy gets anymore frenzied than it already has in the past several years, private property owning Yoopers had better load their cannons and stand ready to defend their gates.

Oh, by the way, there’s oil and gas under the western U.P., Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and Lake Superior, too. This “distinct population segment” of states is being looked at geologically as a southward extension of Canada’s “Superior Province,” just as the Wildlands Project ecologically envisions it as their “Heart of the Continent” Initiative, a restored “pre-European settlement” bi-national wilderness park, if you will.

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Tell you what, though. If what happens in our newly developing bi-national Superior Province, as has happened in other countries being re-developed for centuries-long “sustainability,” when invasive pre-European settlers who survive the Wildlands Project’s human purge are herded to eco-ville and indigenous people remain in the rural or wilderness areas, either helping to sustain resource extraction with their labor or going wanting, it won’t be a pretty sight. And God help us all when the match is lit in the forests to make resource extraction so much easier. For part 1 click below.

For part 2 click here -----> 1

Educate Yourself:

1, Mines and Communities Company
2, Your CatBird Seat Guide
3, Harmon's letters to Hamilton McCubbin, CEO Kamehameha schools
4, Bitterroot's Michigan Uranium Play
5, Uranium and Flouride Advisory
6, Superior Pruvince

7, The atlas of Canada
8, Sea Hunt
9, Nonprofit Land bank Amasses Billions
10, The Nature Conservancy Applauds Congressional Support for Michigan's Northern Great lakes Forest Project in FY 2006 Budget
11, Conservation Groups unite in filing AMICUS Brief to save natural resources trust fund and take parks endowment fund


© 2006 Carole "C.J." Williams - All Rights Reserved

E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale


C. J. (Carole) Williams lives in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula. She writes a weekly newspaper column, "On Target with C. J. Williams", for Ontonagon's Lake Superior Voice (www.thelakesuperiorvoice.com) and is also a guest writer for the Women Hunters Club (www.womenhunters.com), an online organization dedicated to the encouragement, education, and promotion of women in the hunting traditions.

For the past several years, C. J. has been monitoring the eco-environmental movement and the UN's Agenda 21 in her state, as well as America, which she strongly believes has done more to destroy our nation than to make it as strong and prosperous as it could and should be.

E-Mail: uppatriots@yahoo.com


 

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Bitterroot is looking for uranium in the Jacobsville Basin, which covers most of the Western U. P., including the historic Menominee Co. winter deeryard area the MI-DNR is so eager to have.