MADISON, Wis (KBJR) --- Gogebic Taconite has submitted their proposed plan for excavation and sample rock to assess the quality and quantity of the mineral deposit in the Penokee Range in Ashland and Iron Counties.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources received the sampling plan on June 17th, which outlines five sites where the company is proposing to excavate and sample rock.
Gogebic Taconite also submitted a pre-application notification, including a preliminary description of the potential mining project.
According to the DNR, the additional ore sample is needed for the company to design the proposed mining project. Less than 10,000 tons of material will be removed from the five sampling sites, with each site averaging just over half an acre in size.
According to Larry Lynch, DNR hydrogeologist, the agency will review the plan and provide comments to Gogebic Taconite within 14 days, notifying the company of the necessary approvals needed to proceed with the bulk sampling.
The pre-application notification and preliminary project description are the first formal steps in the mine permitting process established in the new iron mining law. Under the law, the pre-application notification must be provided at least 12 months prior to submittal of a mining permit application for a proposed project.
Lynch says the agency will also provide an opportunity for input during a public comment period and at a public informational meeting planned for later this summer. The meeting is intended to focus on the company’s bulk sampling and the pre-application project description.
To read more about Gogebic Taconite's proposed mining project in the Penokee Hills, click here.