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Description of Current Facilities and Assets

The current EMEW facility consists of 720 EMEW plating cells capable of producing 3,000,000 lbs of B-115 spec. copper cathode annually.


The block building in which the facility sits is a 52’ x 200’ plant adjacent to the WPCR tankhouse.  The building contains a 3-ton crane, with tanks, pumps, piping, electrical supply, HVAC and mobile equipment to operate the pilot facility as well as commercial operations. 


Additional equipment is still in place that could be used for commercial processing material for the EMEW plant. This includes digesting vessels, pumps, tanks, piping and a filter press. An analytical lab with testing equipment is still in place that would require minimum attention for restart.  Until pilot plant testing is completed it is unknown if existing equipment will be economically and technically sufficient for the project.


The Refinery has an abundance of available space for material storage or for commercial process expansion if needed.


The facility sits on the WPCR site with fully interconnected electric service from WE-Energies, at a significant discount to the next closest utility, UPPCO, capable of providing projects to site energy load up to 20 MW.  The anticipated energy load at the WPCR EMEW is about 1 MW peak


WPCR has significant raw water service already in place.  The existing water agreement with the Village of Ontonagon allows WPCR access to up to 32,000,000 gallons per day, more than enough for makeup water for this process.


Upper Peninsula freight rail map

The Canadian National Railroad still has the right of way for rail service to site.  The line has not been active since WPCR stopped production in 2010, but the track is still in place and, if enough product is required, CN may consider reopening service.  It would need to be significant volumes, but due to potential mine projects, etc. the right of way still exists.  Rail still exists onsite and is interconnected to the CN system.  Back when the refinery was in operation, rail would deliver anodes to site 3 times per week.


Current frequency of railroads

The Ontonagon Harbor is located 20 miles away on Lake Superior and is a deep draft commercial harbor with over 4,800 feet of structures including piers and revetments and approximately ¾ miles of maintained Federal channel.  From 2006 – 2010 tonnage was 150,000 tons of material shipped and received.  It is a locally significant receiving port on the Great Lakes which provides the main economic catalyst for the area. Silver City could also be a potential docking location, 6 miles to the north of White Pine. 


Ontonagon Harbor

White Pine Copper Refinery is fully permitted and has the following permits in place:


Storm Water Discharge COC MIS510568

Effective May 15, 2015

Expiring April 1, 2020

Renewable Operating Permit MI-ROP-N7396-2017

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Certificate No: MIS510568

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan and Pollution Incident Prevention Plan.

MDEQ Reference No: CNTS-ERD-98-001

Administrative Agreement and Covernant Not to Sue



Renewal application due Fall 2019


Approved June 22, 2017

The ROP expires five years from the effective date unless the renewal requirements specified in Rule 217 (1)(a) for Act 451 are satisfied

Application completed and received by the Department on December 19th, 2014 and expires on April 1, 2020.

Updated by Weston Solutions of Michigan, Inc. Feb. 2012


Annual report to MDEQ on or before January 10th of each year. Complete semi-annual/annual preventative maintenance reviews, quarterly comprehensive and visual assessments, ensure annual plan reviews are documented, and annual employee training occurs and is documented. 2016 annual report submitted 12/13/16. SWPP submitted 1/13/17 per MDEQ request

Functionality of the facility under the Source-Wide Permit to Install. 

Permit Number MI-PTI-B1966-2014

Authorizes an unspecified amount of storm water discharge from WPCR.

This document combines requirements of the SPCC and PIP plans for Site Emergency Integrated Contingency Plan including spill and emergency prevention, recongnition, response, and notification.

WPCR owns property without incurring liability for Existing Contamination and continued use of property for use, reuse, or redevelopment.

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