Northern Wisconsin Tribe Hopes To Avoid Foreclosure On Mine Purchase

A northern Wisconsin Indian tribe that helped to buy the site of a proposed zinc and copper mine at Crandon two years ago, shutting down the disputed project, is trying to raise eight million dollars for a mortgage payment on the deal.

Sandra Rachal is chairwoman of the Mole Lake, or Sakaogon Chippewa band, and she says if the payment on the mortgage note held by an Australian metals company isn't made by next April's deadline, foreclosure could occur.

But she also says tribal officials think things will work out and the payment will be made ... or at least they hope so.

Part of the fund-raising effort involves selling silver-dollar shaped samples of mine borings from the project for $30.00 each. The tribe calls the samples a symbol of environmental damage prevented by the purchase.

The Mole Lake Chippewa and Forest County Potawatomi bought the mine site in October of 2003. The Potawatomi paid cash for its share of the 16-point-five (m) million dollar purchase.