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Mining Company Scales Back Plan to Dig Test Holes

The DNR must have raised questions about five locations where Gogebic Taconite wanted to dig test holes in northern Wisconsin. State inspectors visited the sites this week, after the company submitted an application to do the work.  Now G-Tac has submitted a new application with the State of Wisconsin, asking for DNR approval to dig eight holes instead of 13.

According to the company, it needs to gather more information about storm water issues at the five locations. Borings cannot be drilled into environmentally-sensitive areas or impact wetlands.

G-Tac wants to mine iron ore in Wisconsin's Penokee Hills, just south of Lake Superior. During this stage of the potential project, the firm wants to drill holes - hundreds of feet deep and a little larger than two inches in diameter, to remove and test the rock to learn what type of processing it would need to extract the ore.  In addition, officials say they need to bore to understand more about the groundwater.

The DNR has 10 business days to respond to the company's new application.