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DNR wants more details before Gogebic Taconite mineral quality test

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state DNR wants more details before it lets Gogebic Taconite dig up to five tons of rock to test the mineral quality at its proposed iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin.

The company recently asked the DNR to approve the bulk sampling, the second phase of its environmental testing in advance of a request for a state mining permit.

In a three-page response, DNR hydrologist Lawrence Lynch said the company would need to get a permit for managing stormwater as part of the sampling. The state also wants to know how Gogebic would manage blasting activities, prevent topsoil erosion, and handle things like drilling water and dust.

The DNR also questions the amount of time needed to take the bulk rock samples – and how long it might be before its drilling sites can grow new vegetation.

The governor and Legislature approved changes to the state’s mining laws this spring, to make it easier for Gogebic Taconite to build the new mine.