Mary Annette Pember
Tyler Forks River in the Penokee Hills near the proposed GTAC mine.

Bulk Sampling Proposed for GTAC, Public Hearing August 15

Mary Annette Pember


Gogebic Taconite (GTAC), the company that has proposed a 4.5-mile long open pit iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills is one step closer to conducting bulk sampling.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released GTAC’s response to the Department’s request for additional information regarding the company’s bulk sampling plan. Bulk sampling would help GTAC determine the cost of processing the raw ore into taconite.

GTAC is suggesting that they may not, as originally planned, need to blast rock for sampling and may be able to use existing rock samples left behind by prior mining activity in 1960.

In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, DNR hydro-geologist Larry Lynch said that the department will determine if they need more information from GTAC and respond to the company in about one week.

“Eventually we will reach a point where we say we have enough information to take the next step in the process,” Lynch said.

Lynch further noted that GTAC wants to keep the door open to conduct blasting if they need more material for testing.

According to a press release delivered August 1, by the DNR, the department has scheduled a public informational hearing August 15 on the proposed bulk sampling activity and the pre-application notice to mine at Gogebic Taconite’s potential mining project near Mellen, Wisconsin.

The hearing will be held at the Hurley High School, 5503 W. Range View Drive, Hurley, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The hearing will be a public informational hearing, where individuals can provide oral or written comments as well as learn about the proposed bulk sampling activity and the pre-application description of the potential mine project.

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