European Parliament member visits Marquette County mine

Henrike Hahn, a German member of the European Parliament, visited Eagle Mine on Thursday
Eagle Mine is the only nickel mine in the U.S.(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 4:50 PM EDT

CHAMPION, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette County welcomed a visitor from the European Parliament this week. This could be the start of a future economic partnership with Eagle Mine.

Henrike Hahn, a German member of the European Parliament, visited the U.S. this week. Hahn first stopped in Washington D.C. to discuss international solutions to inflation with congresspeople.

On Thursday, Hahn was in Marquette County to visit Eagle Mine, the only nickel mine in the U.S.

Hahn, who is also an industrial policy speaker for the German Green Party, said Eagle Mine could play a pivotal role in furthering trans-Atlantic trade since nickel is one of the main materials used for electric vehicles (EV).

“Europe has high ambitions on climate goals,” Hahn explained. “Of course, we do know that we need raw materials to achieve our climate goals. Eagle Mine produces very interesting material that we need in batteries for electric cars.”

Hahn explains that in Germany alone, the goal is to manufacture around 30 million EVs by 2030. Hahn said this cannot be done without importing nickel sulfate, a key material used to make lithium-ion batteries. It is created by the nickel extracted at Eagle Mine.

“In Europe, we heavily depend on imports of critical raw materials,” Hahn said.

Hahn adds that sustainable mining is key to meeting Europe’s long-term EV needs. Some of the needs include: ensuring the mining and manufacturing industries can continue to operate far into the future and preserve the environment near places like eagle mine.

“We would like to do economy in a competitive and sustainable way,” Hahn said. “I am trying to figure out different aspects of raw materials, how we can green the industry and how it can become more resilient than ever before.”

Currently, Eagle Mine is expected to close in four years if it does not find more ore. The future of Eagle Mine’s inclusion in Europe’s push to manufacture millions of EVs is still up in the air. However, Hahn notes that the Marquette County mine could soon play a huge role in that process.

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