From the Wisconsin DNR today, and note how little time Wisconsin law gives the agency to complete its legal and scientific review:
Gogebic Taconite Files Exploration License Renewals, Submits Modified Stormwater Application
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received renewal requests for two exploratory drilling licenses held by Gogebic Taconite, LLC. Exploration licenses are required to commence any exploratory drilling in Wisconsin. The first exploration license (#41001) was issued May 30, 2013, and covered the drilling of eight holes. The second license (#41002) was issued January 16, 2014, and it authorized an additional 15 holes. In addition to renewing the licenses for another year, Gogebic Taconite has also requested the addition of six new drilling sites to the coverage of license #41002.
The new drilling sites will all be accessed using existing roads.
As required by the ferrous mining law, the department has 10 days to review and issue a response to the renewal applications.
In addition to the exploration license renewals, Gogebic Taconite has also submitted a stormwater permit application for improvements to access road three. In March, the company submitted a similar application for stormwater coverage that included both access roads one and three, and this one replaces that application and omits plans for access road one. The company has requested a stormwater permit to improve access road three and allow better site access during baseline data collection.
Gogebic Taconite has proposed exploration in a four-mile area located east of Mellen in eastern Ashland and west-central Iron counties. The area of interest is part of the Penokee/Gogebic deposit, a 21-mile long portion of the larger Gogebic Iron Range that stretches east to west from Lake Gogebic, Michigan, to near Lake Namekagon, Wisconsin.
The renewals, stormwater application and additional materials are available on the Gogebic Taconite, LLC, potential mining project Web page.
Please refer any questions to Larry Lynch, the Gogebic Taconite project coordinator, at 608-381-8684 or Lawrence.Lynch@Wisconsin.gov.