Northwood Alliance followed Gogebic Taconite’s proposed iron mine on the Penokee Range in Ashland and Iron Counties, Wisconsin.  Here is some information and links.

 

http://www.northwoodalliance.org/GogebicTaconite/IronCountyIron.jpg

The Ironwood Iron Formation in Iron County (first phase of the project)

 

Most of the area is private land owned by RGGS Land and Minerals, Ltd. (Houston, Texas), LaPointe Mining Co. (Minnesota), Penokee Iron Company, or Marengo Development Company, Ltd.  They have kept all or most of their lands open to the public through Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Law.  The Cline Group (Florida) owns the lease to the mineral rights, and created Gogebic Taconite as a development-stage iron ore mining company.

 

Wisconsin DNR: Gogebic Taconite, LLC, potential mining project

 

Documents:

·        Assembly Bill 426.

·        Jauch and Schultz Senate Substitute Amendment to 2011 Assembly Bill 426

·        Wisconsin Legislative Council Memo on LRB-3520 (Assembly Bill 426).

·        Map of the Ironwood Iron Formation within the 22-mile leased area.

 

Timeline:

·        1/19/2011.  First public meeting on the proposed mine.  Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, Ashland, WI.  Partial transcripts by Northwood Alliance.  

·        1/26/2011.  Gogebic Taconite signs an Option Agreement with the Iron County Board, receiving the right to lease or purchase 3,330 acres of Iron County Forest land.

·        3/14/2011.  Gogebic Taconite opens office in Hurley, WI. 

·        3/18/2011.  Wisconsin DNR grants Gogebic Taconite a license for exploratory drilling.

·        5/11/2011.  Draft Wisconsin mining legislation LRB-2035 is released.

·        6/22/2011.  Gogebic Taconite says project is on hold until Wisconsin rewrites mining laws. 

·        10/27/2011. Wisconsin Assembly’s Jobs, Economy and Small Business Committee holds a public hearing at the Hurley K-12 School.

·        12/8/2011.  Wisconsin State Legislature unveils LRB-3520, a new version of mining reform legislation.

·        12/14/2011.  Public hearing on LRB-3502 at the State Fair Park in Milwaukee, by the Wisconsin Assembly Jobs, Economy and Small Business Committee.  Video available from WisconsinEye.

·        1/11/2012.  Public hearing on Assembly Bill 426 in Hurley by the Wisconsin Assembly Jobs, Economy and Small Business Committee.  Video available from WisconsinEye.

·        1/24/2012.  Wisconsin Assembly Jobs, Economy and Small Business Committee passes Assembly Substitute Amendment 1, then passes Assembly Bill 426.

·        1/26/2012.  Wisconsin Assembly passes Assembly Bill 426.

·        2/13/2012.  Wisconsin Senate Republicans (including Neal Kezie, Chair of the Select Committee on Mining) introduce a mining bill, LRB 4035/1.  The bill is similar to Assembly Bill 426.

·        2/16/2012.  Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald disbands the Select Committee on Mining.  Fitzgerald directs the Joint Finance Committee to take up Assembly Bill 426.

·        2/21/2012.  Wisconsin State Senators Bob Jauch (D) and Dale Schultz (R) unveil a bipartisan mining bill, the Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act.

·        2/25/2012.  Mellen Town Hall Meeting: Mining in Wisconsin.

·        3/5/2012.  Wisconsin State Legislature Joint Committee on Finance introduces Senate substitute amendment 1 and Senate substitute amendment 2 to AB 426.

·        3/6/2012.  Wisconsin Senate rejects AB 426 substitute amendment 2.  Later, Gogebic Taconite news release says they are ending their plans to invest in an iron mine, citing the “Senate rejection of the mining reforms in Assembly Bill 426.”

·        11/14/2012.  Republicans take 18-15 majority in Wisconsin senate after November elections.

·        1/8/2013.  Mining bill on fast track as new legislative session begins.

·        1/26/2013.  Wisconsin Assembly approves Mining Reform bill AB-1.

·        2/22/2012.  Senate Democrat Tim Cullen of Janesville announces an alternative mining bill. 

·        2/23/2013.  Joint Senate and Assembly public hearing in Madison on SB-1.

·        3/1/2015.  Gogebic Taconite closes its Hurley office.

·        3/24/2015.  Gogebic Taconite withdraws its preapplication to the Wisconsin DNR.

 

 

Links:

·        Gogebic Taconite

·        Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

·        Woods Person Blog

·        Clean Wisconsin

·        Clean Wisconsin Blog (Gogebic Taconite)

·        Penokee Hills Education Project

·        Wisconsin DNR Synopsis of State Metallic Mining Laws

·        Common Ground, the newsletter of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

·        Save the Waters Edge

·        NOT MINE

·        The Nature Conservancy Wisconsin: Mining in the Penokee Range

·        USGS Bedrock Geology Map

·        Wisconsin State Representative Janet Bewley (74th Assembly District)

·        Wisconsin State Senator Bob Jauch (25th Senate District)

 

News Articles:

·        Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:  Upper Peninsula pits offer perspective on Wisconsin mine proposal (11/5/2011)

·        Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Mine Plan Prompts Backlash (12/15/2011)

·        Wall Street Journal: Hearing grows heated over bill to hasten mining approvals (12/14/2011)

·        Wisconsin State Journal:  Mining bill could cost DNR millions, analysis shows (1/8/2012)

·        Ashland Daily Press: Voices heard in north on mining bill … finally (1/12/2012)

·        Wisconsin State Journal:  Mining bill faces difficult battle in Senate (1/29/2012)

·        Wisconsin State Journal:  Walker wants lawmakers to break mining impasse (2/28/2012)

·        Ashland Current:  Ironwood Water Deal In Works For Gogebic Taconite (3/2/2012).

·        Wisconsin State Journal:  Mining company president: Approve bill or we may abandon project (3/6/2012 1:54 PM)

·        Wisconsin State Journal:  Gogebic Taconite says it's pulling plug on project after Senate fails to pass mining bill (3/7/2012 6:00 AM)

 

Here are topics Northwood Alliance is following, in particular:

·        Potential effects to the environment

·        Gogebic Taconite and Wisconsin mining legislation

·        Mining Interests: Gogebic Taconite and the Cline Group.

 

 

Last update 1/8/2017