The Department of Environmental Quality says they've tentatively approved plans for a copper and silver mine in the Upper Peninsula.
Regulators say they determined Orvana Resources U.S. corporation's application meets state mining standards.
Orvana is targeting 798 million pounds of copper and 3.5 million ounces of silver in an underground deposit near Ironwood.
Environmentalists have raised concerns about the company's plans to withdraw large volumes of Lake Superior water and discharge treated wastewater into a creek that feeds the lake.
Company officials say a buffer zone will provide adequate protection.
A public hearing is scheduled for March 6 at Gogebic Community College.