Friday, February 27, 2015

Discovering water in watershed mine site, GTac abandons open-pit mine plan

GTac says it is shelving its plan to blow up, dig up and mill the Penokee Hills in the Bad River watershed for low-grade iron ore already in surplus supply - - because, it says it found too much water in the wetlands in the watershed at the edge of Lake Superior.

Sure, it took the mining company four years to make this discovery.

The uproar the plan caused in state politics helped force the moderate GOP opponent Dale Schultz from the State Senate and it seems as if the company wasted $700,000 in thank you money in routed to a Scott Walker advocacy group for his getting a sweetheart enabling bill that is still on the books through the Legislature.

Don't get me wrong - - I'm thrilled to see this news, though GTac has closed out its office in Hurley before - - and let's hope people in the region can get back their peace of mind, clean water, undisturbed wild-rice growing estuaries, and tourism-based economy.

And as I said 25 months ago, where is Walker's Plan B for the area?
Knowing that a mine is years - - if ever - - away from approval and opening in the coming bear market in iron ore, where is the Walker administration's comprehensive Plan B for northern Wisconsin?


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, GTac (along with Walker) are spreading the lie that the EPA stopped them. This is a brazen falsehood--but that's what to expect from Walker.

The real reason is that the price of 62% iron ore (industry standard) fell from $190/ton at the time of the introduction of the mine to its current level of $62/ton.

Faced with the opening of the $15-billion Roy Hill Mine in Australia with a stated break even production price of $45/ton, GTac had only one course of action, followed by GOP inspired political finger-pointing.

Dr. Morbius

Anonymous said...

Let's hope this is the start of a turn around in Wisconsin and the beginning of the end of Walker's corrupt form of government giveaways to special interests.

Anonymous said...

Now would be a good time to repeal the ferris iron mining rules.

Anonymous said...

Rep Tiffany, who shepparded the GTac-written bill throught he process still boldly asserts there will be mining operations.

Bill Williams, GTac president (sought for criminal polution charges in Spain) says they will get the mining permit.

They can sell the mining rights and permits and they will, to China. Then stopping the mine will be deemed a violation of "free trade agreements" and they will have set up a court-battle to throw out the Native treaty rights, telling tribes to go sue China.

Don't get me wrong. This is all good news today, but until the permit is legally squashed we are not in the clear here.

Anonymous said...

Wetlands stopping a mine? I have been following the US steel industry trends since the early 80's and laughed out loud when this mine was first proposed. Nothing but fool's gold as the price of iron and world glut would make it not worthwhile right now. This was just an excuse to cover a plan they had all along. All I can imagine is that they got laws passed to let them do whatever they want to WI's natural resources in the future. And this mine greatly enhanced Walker's re-election.

Saw a good quote:

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me Twice, shame on me.

Fool me three times, Scott Walker

MAL said...

Plan A, B and C should be environmental protection, tourism and recreation with a mission, aim and objective of clean water and sustainable, live-with-nature ethos as the guiding mission.

Just over in Ashland and Bayfield counties, people are pointing the way forward.

Anonymous said...

Dead on right Dr. Morbius. We scrapped out 400 tons of steel at various scrap yards from Chicago to Wi. in the last 4 years and have seen the price fall from $320/ton to $100/ton. This is all about economics nothing else.