Michigan gives final OK to nickel, copper mine

Michigan regulators have given final approval for construction and operation of a bitterly contested nickel and copper mine in the Upper Peninsula.

The Department of Environmental Quality said Thursday it has determined the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co. project meets the requirements of the state's mining laws.

The mine would be built in a remote section of Marquette County called the Yellow Dog Plains. Opposition groups say it could pollute groundwater and streams, while mine officials say they'll protect the local environment.

The DEQ tentatively approved permits in 2007. After a lengthy hearing, an administrative law judge upheld the finding last August.

The project still requires a permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.