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Local Leaders React to Mining Permit ApplicationSubmitted: 05/10/2013
Local Leaders React to Mining Permit Application
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - Gogebic Taconite applied for an exploratory permit yesterday. The Wisconsin legislature decided in March the DNR has ten business days to approve exploration permits.

If the DNR approves the application, Gogebic will later still have to get federal approval to mine in the area. That's because it would affect federal wetlands.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that permit process could take up to four years.

We spoke with Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairman Mike Wiggins today. The tribe doesn't want iron ore mining in the area.

Chairman Wiggins says the tribe is exploring legal options, and they intend to keep trying to protect their home and the water.

Senator Tom Tiffany says he expects G-Tac to get the permit.

"So this is the first step in getting the permits necessary to be able to mine. The company would start drilling almost immediately, and they would bring in drill rigs to do that. They have to go deep into the ore body hundreds of feet down," says Sen. Tiffany.

Senator Tiffany says G-Tac would need to employ dozens, if not hundreds of people for that sampling part of the process.



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Walker voted for the moratorium when he was in the state Assembly but is expected to sign a GOP bill that lifts the prohibition. The bill comes as Aquila Resources Inc. is considering potential mining sites in Taylor and Marathon counties.


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