If you click on the Wisconsin DNR's web page on metallic mining, or on the Penokee/Gogebic Deposit tab, you'd never know an iron mine proposal near Ashland and the Bad River reservation had gone down to a bruising defeat in March.
But the company made it clear on March 6th it was pulling out, leading to DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp's partisan news releases and talk radio attacks on State Senators who failed to approve a bill that Gogebic Taconite worked on with GOP legislators and administration officials and said it needed to proceed.
Location: Iron and Ashland countiesThe Penokee/Gogebic deposit is generally defined as the 21-mile western end of the 60-mile long Gogebic Iron Range, which stretches east to west from Lake Gogebic, Mich., to Mineral Lake, Wis. The deposit is steeply dipping (between 40 and 90 degrees north, averaging 65 degrees) and contains 20-30 percent iron in the form of magnetite. Because the iron ore in this deposit is of lower grade than the natural hematitic ores previously mined in northern Wisconsin, the ore must be concentrated and processed into taconite pellets prior to shipping to a smelter.
Most of the surface and mineral rights are currently owned by the LaPointe Iron Company, which has optioned potential development of the deposit to Gogebic Taconite, LLC. The mining company is currently focusing potential development on a four-mile stretch between the Tyler Forks River and Ballou Creek. If developed, it would be an open pit mine.
The DNR issued Gogebic Taconite an exploration license in spring 2011 and performed a site inspection for the installation of eight boreholes in April 2011. The DNR also issued a storm water permit in June 2011. Drilling was scheduled for June 2011, but the company suspended all exploration activities and the boreholes were not completed.
None of this history is on the DNR web page - - which says at the bottom it was last updated on February 27 - - more than a week prior to the company's very public withdrawal.
The last time I pointed out there was outdated material on the DNR's pages - - covering multiple climate change initiatives at the state and federal levels - - the agency took them down and left a single link to a report.
Isn't there a better way to keep these pages current?