Iron County approves bulk sample permit for G-Tac

By KBJR News 1

January 30, 2014 Updated Jan 31, 2014 at 1:37 AM CDT

Hurley, WI (NNCNOW.com) -- The Iron County Land and Zoning Committee approved a bulk sampling ordinance that will allow Gogebic Taconite to apply for a conditional use permit. The permit will allow the mining company to conduct bulk sampling in the Town of Anderson.

"Conditional use gives the Town of Anderson and Iron County the
opportunity to put conditions on a permit to make sure the public
welfare is taken care of," said Tom Bergman, Iron County Zoning Administrator.

Under the conditions the company will have to provide a plan for hours of operation and regulation of noise, dust, and light pollution.
The company will also not be allowed to operate from 10pm to 7am and will have to notify the sheriff's department, emergency management, and the zoning committee 48 hours in advance before doing any blasting.

However, some community members think the process is going too fast because the company still need to get approvals from the state.

"We've submitted the information to them [the DNR] that shows we don't need an air quality permit, and then we need to finalize the storm water permit," said Bob Seitz, director of external affairs for G-Tac.

The company's plan is to take rock samples from three sites in the Town of Anderson. Those samples will give them data so they can build a mill to process the minerals.

"The best time to go in the field is when the ground is frozen; any
logger will tell you that's when the impacts are less," said Seitz.

Others who have been to the sample sites say parts of the ground are not frozen.

"At some of these meetings we heard that it's dry, it's frozen... and I went up after the last meeting and filmed the river that comes out under the old work and flows right into the river. So I'm concerned that digging that up will cause some problems for that river," said Maureen Matusewic of Hurley.

Seitz says the company does not plan on doing any blasting at this time for bulk sampling but have blasting in the plan in case they run into any issues.

G-Tac officials say they expect bulk sampling to take about six weeks.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.