The state has approved a new exploratory drilling license tied to a controversial mining project.
The Department of Natural Resources has signed-off on the request from Gogebic Taconite to drill an additional 15 exploratory holes in the Penokee Hills, as it continues to investigate opening a large iron ore mine in the region. The company had previously been granted a permit to drill eight holes in the area, located on a stretch of land in Iron and Ashland Counties.
The drilling permit has no impact on a request from the company to excavate tons of rock from the site to check its mineral content. The DNR is still reviewing excavation and storm water permits tied to that phase of the project.