LADYSMITH, Wis. — Minnesota and Wisconsin environmental agency staff members this week toured the closed Flambeau mine near Ladysmith.
“We came to see what a closed mine of this sort might look like,” said Tom Landwehr, of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “This is one of many perspectives we intend to gather as Minnesota moves farther into our own environmental protection processes about non-ferrous mining proposals,” he said.
The open-pit, copper-silver-gold mine began construction in July 1991, and reclamation activities were completed by the end of 1999. The activities included backfilling the open pit, which involved blending stockpiled waste rock with limestone.
The DNR will continue to monitor the site for the next several decades.
Wisconsin DNR staffers provided a site tour and presented detailed information about the mining project.
“We had a very productive discussion,” said Wisconsin DNR Deputy Secretary Matt Moroney.
“The Flambeau mine appears to be one that was closed properly and did not leave a pollution legacy, as many copper mines have,” said Commissioner John Linc Stine of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “We will also be looking at projects where states were left to deal with legacy pollution clean-ups. We need to do our homework and take lessons from other mining sites.”