Tribal leaders, environmentalists and local officials have united to fight a massive mine which could be toxic to a water-rich area known as “Wisconsin’s Everglades.”
The highly unpopular iron mine giveaway bill is not only a major rollback of environmentally protective mining laws, it is also a well-funded mining industry assault on the grass-roots environmental, sport fishing and tribal movement that mobilized tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens to oppose Exxon’s destructive Crandon mine at the headwaters of the Wolf River and enact Wisconsin’s landmark “Prove It First” Mining Moratorium Law in 1998.
By Al Gedicks and Dave Blouin
Duluth News Tribune
How is it possible that the Wisconsin legislature is ready to pass legislation to create fast-tracked, less-protective ferrous (iron) mining laws for what promises be the largest open-pit iron mine in the world with no scientific evidence to justify treating iron mining differently than other metallic mining?
If Gogebic Taconite proceeds with a proposal, its first phase of mining alone would be larger than the acknowledged largest iron mine in the world, the Hull Rust Mahoning Mine in Hibbing. The taconite ore body in northern Wisconsin is known to run 22 miles, meaning the expansion of mining after phase one could result in an even larger mine with more potential to destroy rivers, streams, wetlands and groundwater.
The main proponents of an iron mining bill in Wisconsin — including Gogebic Taconite, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Wisconsin Mining Association — have misled legislators with claims that the iron ore in Ashland and Iron counties is more environmentally safe compared to metallic sulfide mining and thus requires separate regulations.
Listen to Al Gedicks and Jan Morrill talk about mining issues in El Salvador and Wisconsin on The Progressive Radio Show: http://www.progressive.org/al-gedicks-jan-morrill-interview-audio
WRPC’s Al Gedicks was on WPR’s Joy Cardin show on Thursday, October 27. After clicking here to listen to the program, drag the bar to the 20-minute mark to begin Al’s segment.
Listen to Ken Rose’s in-depth interview with Al Gedicks at What Now.
By Matt Hrodey, Milwaukee Magazine
December 16, 2010
A Milwaukee-based mining company, the Commerce Group, is suing the government of El Salvador for $100 million, arguing it unjustly revoked permits for a gold mine in the country. Some environmental activists are crying foul, saying the lawsuit, filed under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), seeks to exploit the country, where the government has halted all gold and silver mining due to environmental concerns.
Proposed Lynne mining sparks new debate over ongoing issue
Deborah Bedolla, The Lakeland Times
September 14, 2010
It has been more than a year since Tamerlane Ventures, a publicly-traded international mining firm, first expressed interest in exploring a sulfide ore deposit near the town of Lynne.
The Oneida County Mining Oversight Committee has since been considering opening a public bid for leasing mineral rights to allow exploratory studies. The committee’s consideration has been, in the words of chairman Dave Hintz, “slow and deliberate” in the face of the myriad technical, economic and environmental issues the proposal raises.
A well-attended July 24 information session in Lynne brought some of those issues before the public, but it was only the beginning of a process that is likely to become contentious quickly.
“It’s going to be extremely controversial and it’s going to be extremely long term. It’s not going to happen quickly, if at all,” Dan Kuzlik, the UW-Extension professor who facilitated the information session and is serving as liaison for the committee, said.
Hintz underscored the long-term nature of the conversation at a committee meeting last week: “Mining is not going to happen in Oneida County for some time. We’re in the early stages of this process.”