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Mining Explosion on Drummond Island Registers 2.7 on Richter Scale

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It’s been a couple of years since Michigan experienced an earthquake, but a mining explosion on Drummond Island came close. The explosion registered 2.7 on the Richter scale.

The explosion at a dolomitic limestone mine on Drummond Island took place on June 28, 2016.

The Drummond Island mining operation is run by Carmeuse Lime & Stone. I spoke with Ray LeClair, Carmeuse Lime & Stone’s Director of Operations. He oversees the operations in the Great Lakes region including the Drummond Island operation.

LeClair said the mining site on Drummond Island has been open since the late 1940s and after checking the report from June 28, 2016, they found “nothing abnormal about the report” and he was “not quite sure why it registered.”

LeClair said the blast was similar to others that they do on the island about ten times each year.

The mining site is about 8 miles inland at the east end of Truck Haul Road.

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The 2.7 registered by the blast is smaller than the earthquakes felt in 2015 when two earthquakes were recorded in lower Michigan. An earthquake registered 4.2 in Galesburg on May 2 and a 3.3 was recorded near Battle Creek on June 30.

It is not entirely unusual for a mining explosion in Michigan to set off USGS monitors. On February 16, 2015 a 2.5 was recorded from a mining explosion near Alpena. On January 12, 2015 a 2.3 was recorded near Negaunee in the Upper Peninsula.

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