G-Tac explores UP for iron ore, keeps eye on WisconsinThe company that wanted to build a massive open pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin has turned its attention to the Upper Peninsula. However, they’re leaving the door open to return to Wisconsin.
By: By Mike Simonson/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The company that wanted to build a massive open pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin has turned its attention to the Upper Peninsula. However, they’re leaving the door open to return to Wisconsin.
Gogebic Taconite President Bill Williams says they’ve done exploratory drilling in parts of the Upper Michigan. Now, they’re studying those samples.
“We’re out sniffing around and kicking over rocks, if you will,” he said. We’ve looked at the other end of the Gogebic Range, we’ve also gone a little bit farther, looking south of the Marquette Range.”
Williams says this is all “early stage” stuff. They still have to figure out the ore’s quality and quantity, and the logistics of transporting the minerals. But he says the public opinion and political atmosphere are different in the U-P than it was in Wisconsin.
“I would say you’re not finding more support,
he said. “You’re finding less opposition.”
G-Tac still holds options to lease minerals in the Penokee Range of Ashland and Iron counties. The largest of those leases still has about another year before it expires. Speaking from his office in Hurley, Williams says they’re not out of the picture.
“As soon as the core people or the core citizens of the group of that state start to feel comfortable enough to say ‘This isn’t that bad, we can have some economic development and capitalize on our resource development, then we’ll answer that telephone call when it’s made.”
Williams says he likes Michigan’s iron ore mining permitting process, because it has definitive timelines.