Susan Bence

Update, November 3:

Although Democrats rallied against the bill designed to lift the nearly-20 year restrictions on sulfide mining, the Republican-dominated State Assembly prevailed with a 53-38 vote. Bill sponsor Rep. Rob Hutton of Brookfield folded in amendments that include halting mining if it is legally challenged; another to help ensure mining companies pay taxes.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

A Senate committee is considering a bill designed to end Wisconsin's so-called mining moratorium. For the last two decades companies hoping to start a mine had to prove they had already run a non-polluting mine. Bill advocates say the new law would make it easier for companies to establish new mines in the state.

Courtesy of Joy Global

Komatsu announced Thursday that it is purchasing mining equipment maker Joy Global of Milwaukee in a deal worth about $3.7 billion.

The Japan-based Komatsu makes construction, mining and military equipment.

Joy Global has 1,000 employees in Milwaukee and 12,000 worldwide.  

Arthur Thomas / Biz Times

We know that Milwaukee’s manufacturing industry has changed greatly since the days when much of the big things in America were assembled here.  The transformation of the Menomonee Valley and the 35th Street corridor are both testaments to that shift.

But one hold-out from those days has been the industry that builds mining equipment. Two major companies employed a substantial workforce to do that job. But more recently, that industry has seen its fortunes erode as well, with jobs eliminated outright or moved elsewhere.

Susan Bence


The subject of mining is back before the public in Wisconsin. Hundreds of people across the state are expected to testify Monday night at the annual Conservation Congress hearings. They’ll weigh-in on dozens of issues related to how the state manages its natural resources. One item on the agenda is Wisconsin’s divisive new iron mining law.

Pete Rasmussen

The state will now reopen the land around the proposed site, to the public. Gov. Walker had signed a bill restricting access to certain acres.

Last month, G-tac closed its office in Hurley saying a mining operation did not appear to be feasible. The region encompassing the Penokee Hills is rich in wetlands and waterways, the reason some people and groups opposed a potential mine. 

It would have meant opening a 4.5 mile open pit, to extract the iron ore.

According to the Wisconsin DNR, the company has officially withdrawn its pre-application notice.

The company had wanted to mine iron ore in the Penokee Hills region, but the office closing seems to cast doubt on the plans.

S Bence

The Florida company interested in mining iron ore just south of Lake Superior says field work at the site has stopped, at least for now.

S Bence

Miriam Pixtun Monroy lives an hour from Guatemala's capitol and is fighting a gold mining operation she say threatens her indigenous Maya Kaqchikel community. Pixtun Monroy says the struggle is similar to that of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. The tribe is resisting a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin.

Six Chippewa tribes hope the EPA agrees and either restricts or halts a mining company from extracting iron ore from the Penokee Hills.

This Saturday evening, a documentary will air on cable TV about the debate that has consumed Wisconsin for a couple years.

Pete Rasmussen

Americans for Prosperity got involved in county board elections in northern Wisconsin this spring, hoping to help pro-mining candidates win.

S Bence

Senate committee vote expected today on bill dealing with sand mining and local control;  drew  crowd to  state Capitol  Monday.

The type of mine proposed - a four-mile long open pit, could damage water supplies and human health, according to a DNR report.

DNR wanted to work jointly with the Corps on an Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin, but the Corps cannot.