The state Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a public informational hearing on a proposed bulk sampling plan and a pre-application notice submitted by a company that wants to open an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin. The hearing will be held August 15 in Hurley, near the location of the proposed open pit mine Gogebic Taconite hopes to build in the region.
The bulk sampling activity would take place in Iron and Ashland counties. The company wants to remove about 4,000 tons of rock for testing and analysis. Gogebic has indicated it plans to remove rock from a past operation, although some blasting may be required.
Members of the public will be able to submit oral or written comments at the hearing, and also receive more information about the plan. Testimony can also be submitted directly to the DNR through September 3.
The proposed mine has been the subject of intense controversy after state lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year that streamlined the permitting process for mining companies. Gogebic Taconite staff conducting exploratory drilling earlier this summer faced protesters operating in the wooded area around the mining site, which included confrontations and vandalism targeting equipment. The company also faced criticism for placing armed security guards in the area.