Thu May 16, 2013
DNR May Delay Exploration License For Penokee Mining Company
That would delay an exploration license grant for Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) to bore holes in that area.
DNR and GTAC staff took a four-wheeler tour of the proposed iron ore mine in the Ashland/Iron County area Tuesday. DNR waste and materials management director Ann Coakley says they need to know if bore-holes and access areas to be used for drilling platforms would disturb environmentally sensitive areas.
“They’re doing all of their work on previously disturbed areas. Indeed, they’re doing all of their work on old logging roads and existing logging roads.”
Coakley says there’s lots of information to sift through, and she expects to ask GTAC for more information before they decide on an exploration license, extending the deadline beyond the May 23 decision date.
But there’s something else. She says she’s been inundated with 100 emails and calls about the permit in the past week, all against it.
“They’re all coming to me personally. I’m reading them all and I’m passing them all on to technical staff. We take those into consideration but there is a law to be applied and we will use the law and the comments we receive along with that.”
One of the people behind that email drive is Ros Nelson of Washburn. She wants a more thorough environmental analysis about the impact of drilling up to 30 bore holes 1000 feet deep. She says May 23 isn’t enough time.
“The water in the Penokees is some of the purest in the entire world and if we make a mistake, we can pollute it literally for all time, So this is worth slowing down.”
GTAC says it will begin drilling as soon as the license is granted and the ground is firm enough for drilling platforms.