MINOCQUA, WI (WTAQ) - About 400 people attended a forum in Minocqua Thursday on the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine.
They had lots of questions, but not a lot of answers.
Among other things, folks wanted to know who owns the long stretch of property where the mine would go -- and what the reclamation process would be like once the minerals are removed.
Panelists said it's too early to tell. No one knows what the mine would look like, or even its exact boundaries in the Penokee Hills of Ashland and Iron counties.
The DNR's Ann Coakley said Gogebic Taconite is technically allowed to file for its mining permit as early as June 17th, a year after it filed a pre-application notice. But Coakley said it might take years for the application to be ready.
She said a lot of environmental data has to be collected, and the bulk of the work has yet to be done. She said Gogebic Taconite has collected some very limited groundwater and surface water samples. The DNR is also collecting its own data at the site.
Northland College geology professor Tom Fitz explained the region's rock formations at Thursday's form. Others spoke the process of mining waste management, a mine's potential effects on jobs and the economy, and the Bad River watershed at the mining site.
(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)