A scientist says a proposed mine in northern Wisconsin carries the potential for serious impacts on ground and surface waters. Peter Taglia, staff scientist for Clean Wisconsin, says large scale mining operations of the kind being proposed in Iron and Ashland Counties carry concerns for water quality. “When you disturb that existing hydrologic system, you have the potential of really lowering groundwater flow to important streams and wetlands and springs. You also have the potential to really change the chemistry of the water.”
Gogebic Taconite has purchased an option to lease the mineral rights on 22-thousand acres for an open pit taconite mine. Taglia says the proposal needs to be carefully scrutinized. “We have be very careful. And we have to be very concerned, when such a very large scale operation is proposed in an area of the state that really has tremendous natural resources.”
Governor-elect Scott Walker says he’s excited about the proposal, which could mean hundreds of jobs. The process of obtaining the necessary permits to open the mine is expected to take five to seven years.