June 20, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 144

G-Tac submits plan for excavating rock

MADISON, Wis. — Gogebic Taconite, LLC, has submitted a plan to the Department of Natural Resources outlining five sites where the company is proposing to excavate and sample rock to assess the mineral deposits.

The WDNR received a bulk sampling plan June 17 from the company for mining activities related to the Gogebic deposit located near Upson, in the Penokee Range of Ashland and Iron counties.

The company also submitted a pre-application notification, including a preliminary description of the potential mining project.

The additional ore samples are needed for the company to design the proposed mining project, according to the DNR.

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.

Larry Lynch, DNR hydrogeologist, said the agency will review the plan and provide comments to G-Tac within 14 days, notifying the company of the necessary approvals needed to proceed with the bulk sampling.

After G-Tac submits permit applications, DNR staff members will review the take application and determine if only general permits are needed, in which case DNR staff will take action within 30 days. If individual permits are needed, the DNR has 60 days to take action.

The pre-application notification and preliminary project description are the first formal steps in the mine permitting process established in Wisconsin’s new iron mining law.

Under the law, the pre-application notification must be provided at least a year prior to submittal of a mining permit application for a proposed project. The preliminary project description provides a conceptual-level depiction.

Lynch said the agency will also provide an opportunity for input during a public comment period and at a public informational meeting later this summer. The meeting is intended to focus on the company’s bulk sampling and the pre-application project description.

No time and site has been scheduled for the meeting.

G-Tac is currently drilling in the Penokee-Gogebic deposit.