Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the US has approved a $4.5m deal to sell land to Graymont, which plans to develop a limestone operation in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

The Canadian mining company, which supplies lime and lime-based products, is aiming to obtain 2,614 acres by way of purchases or swaps, and also intends to buy 7,026 acres of state-owned mineral rights.

In June, the company submitted a proposal to exchange more than 1,700 acres of mineral rights with the department near the Rexton area.

The proposal will receive a similar review and decision process as the original Graymont land transaction application.

"[Graymont] is aiming to obtain 2,614 acres by way of purchases or swaps."

The deal was previously opposed by environmentalists, tribal governments and some neighbours, who said that the mine would damage the natural surroundings, while supporters claimed it would boost the economy and create new jobs.

AP reported DNR director Keith Creagh as saying: "The many public comments we received regarding this proposal have helped shape positive changes to the initial land transaction application we received from Graymont.

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"Because of those changes, the final proposal resolves many issues and improves the outcome for Michigan citizens."

DNR plans to work with Graymont to complete the sale process, and additional acres are expected to be achieved through land swaps.

In exchange for the 830-acre parcel, Graymont will identify specific lands that would be offered, which will be reviewed by DNR staff and made available for public review and comment.

The proposed mine will be located on a 10,360-acre site in northern Mackinac County, near Rexton.