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Data collection continues for Gogebic Taconite's proposed mine

MELLEN, Wis. (WXPR) -- Gogebic Taconite has indicated it plans to drill more holes in the Penokee Range this summer, though the DNR says the company hasn't yet applied for the needed permission.

DNR hydrologist and mining project lead Larry Lynch says the DNR must first grant a license for any exploratory drilling.  "So in order to get that they have to give us the locations of the holes, what their target depths might be, how they intend to maintain the site, handle stormwater basically give us a good description of what they intend to do."

The company has already drilled more than 20 boreholes last summer and winter.  

Lynch explains Gogebic Taconite is beginning to collect other kinds of data that will be used in its environmental impact statement and mining permit applications.  "They can go out and collect streamflow data.  What they're doing right now is mapping the streams and wetlands; they've conducted some wildlife surveys, they will be installing some more groundwater monitoring wells and collecting groundwater data."

The company doesn't need permits in advance for most of that data collection, though it does need to submit documentation for things like groundwater monitoring wells.

Lynch says the DNR is also maintaining a presence and doing some data collection in the mine site area.