Rio Tinto‘s subsidiary Kennecott Eagle Minerals will end its exploration bid for minerals on public forest land located in the western Upper Peninsula, Michigan, US.

Kennecott had pursued development of a nickel sulphide mine close to Marquette in Iron County, according to the Lake Superior Mining News.

On 6 November, Rio Tinto informed the Bureau of Land Management and the Ottawa National Forest it had dropped plans to explore for minerals in the 395-acre expanse of the Ottawa National Forest, referred to as ‘Bates Parcel’.

The Forest Service and residents close to the planned exploration area said they were concerned about the possible environmental effects of the company’s exploration activity.

For several years Iron County has been coping with mine contamination as the Iron River is constantly contaminated by acid drainage from the Dober and Buck mines.