The Wisconsin DNR is waiting for the next move from Gogebic Taconite, now that the company has stopped fieldwork operations for the year.
DNR hydrologist and project lead Larry Lynch says activity on the proposed mine site wrapped up last month.
“They stopped their data collection in regard to surface monitoring, so right now there’s really nothing going on on the site. They also stopped their road improvement work on one of the access roads.”
Lynch says the DNR is in contact with the company, which will likely spend the next few months analyzing the data and refining the mine design plans.
Gogebic Taconite has drilled twenty two bore holes in northern Wisconsin. Lynch says two of them have been filled with cement, but the rest are still empty, though they are capped and welded shut. Lynch says that is allowed by law.
“Sometimes companies will go back into those holes – they might do physical work for some hydrogeologic purpose. But it is allowed to keep them open.”
Until the holes are remediated and filled with cement, the DNR holds bond money from the company that could pay for the remediation work.
Lynch says the company has told him it plans to resume exploration in the spring.