Mining in the State of Wisconsin


The Penokee Range looking towards Mount Whittlesey. Photo courtesy of


The Forum has tried to include all perspectives about mining and community issues on this web site.  However, we do not pretend to offer an exhaustive database of every source of information that is available.

The Forum will continue to expand and evolve this site as more information becomes available.  If you have more information or websites that you do not see here, please tell us.

Below are websites concerning mining in the state of Wisconsin.

Area of Interest Web Source
Lakewide Management Plans (LaMP)
The Lake Superior Binational Programs LaMP established goals and objectives for protecting and restoring the lake’s natural environment.Mining activities affects many parts of any ecosystem including chemical, air, habit protection, etc.  Click for specific chapters of LaMP.
Government Agencies Evironmental Protection Agency
EPA Technical Resource Document, Extraction and Beneficiation of Ores and Minerals – Iron
United States Geological Survey
US Fish and Wildlife Service
US Army Corps of Engineers
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Mining Information Sheets
Tribal Water Quality Standards (WQS) Program Authorization
Wisconsin Counties Association
Iron County Iron Mining Website Information
Land Conservation Iron County
Legislation Senate Bill – 11-4035P1 Senate Proposed PRELIMINARY DRAFT − NOT READY FOR INTRODUCTION
An Overview of Metallic Mineral Regulations in Wisconsin from Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey by Thomas J. Evans
Mining Permit Timelines for Wisconsin, Minnesota & Michigan from Wisconsin Legislative Council dated October 2011
Dec. 8, 2011 ~ Assembly Republicans Proposed Mining Legislation (.pdf)
Dec. 9, 2011 ~ News Conference: Assembly Republicans Introduce Mining Legislation
Native American Tribes Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Tribal Rights and the Mining Bill
Proposed Mining Sites Penokee Gogebic RangeGogebic Taconite (GTAC)
Environmental Impacts The Fight Against Wisconsin’s Iron Mine – April 2013
Mines Pollute Tens of Billions of Gallons of Water Per Year –   May 2013
This SlideShare web site offers many slideshows about a diverse range of perspectives about mining in the U.S. and around the world. Sample topics include acid mine drainage mitigation, restoration of open pit mines, sulfide mining impacts on health, mining safety, etc. – 2012
From Resource Curse to Blessing by Nation of Change Published:  August 2012

Great Lakes United ~ Mining on Lake Superior:  Past, Present and Future A discussion with Brennain Lloyd of Northwatch and Mike Ripley of the Chippewa/Ottawa Resource Authority Presented:  November 2011

Iron Mining in the Lake Superior Basin – A Report from the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission Presented: October 2011

Proposed Changes to the Iron Mining Regulations and the Associated Risk to Wisconsin’s Natural Resources by The Nature Conservancy. Presented:  December 2011

Mining in the Penokee Range: What’s at Risk from The Nature Conservancy, by Casey Eggleston

The Environmental Track Record of Taconite Mining:  A Fact Sheet on the False Premise that Iron Ore Mining is Safe Prepared by the Sierra Club, October 2011. More info at:
Acid Mine Drainage and Effects on Fish Health and Ecology: A Review for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage Fish and Wildlife Field Office, prepared by: Reclamation Research Group, LLC dated: June 2008
What Are Tailings? – Their Nature and Production
Acid Mine Drainage from the Environmental Protection Agency
Gold Diggers and Indians – Article from In These Times, Jan 2013
WUWM Public Radio feature: Can Streams and Iron Mining Coexist?  August 2013
Socio-Economic Impacts Univ of Wisconsin-Extension offers a series of factsheets about frac sand mining and mining in general. Feb 2013
Wisconsin Legislators Push for Easier Iron Ore-Mine Permits During Worldwide Iron Glut (Fox News) – March 2013
A WUMS radio news feature explores the types of legal challenges Wisconsin will likely face if a mining corporation begins digging to reach iron ore near Lake Superior. – March 2013
Mining Hasn’t Been an Economic Panacea in Minnesota – February 2013
From Resource Curse to Blessing by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Aug 2012
The Economic Impact of Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Mining on the State of Minnesota, the Arrowhead Region and Douglas County, WI prepared by Bureau of Business and Economic Research-Labovitz School of Business and Economics, University of Minnesota Duluth Dated: March 2009

The Economic Impact of the Gogebic Taconite Mine from NorthStar Economics, Inc. Presented: April 2011

A More Holistic Economic Evaluation of Mining: Considering Costs and Benefits by Thomas Power, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Human Health Impacts The Potential of Asbestos-like Mineral at Proposed Wisconsin Mine Site Could Cause Human Health Problems: August 2013

Minnesota Taconite Workers Health Study from University of Minnesota

The Origins of Public Concern with Taconite and Human Health: Reserve Mining and the Asbestos Case from National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health
Resisting Resource Colonialism in the Lake Superior Region by Al Gedicks, September 2011
Potential Health Risks Related to Mining: A Collection of Research Study Links
Citizen Responses and Groups
Penokee Arts – Explore the Iron Hills
Penokee Hills Education Project – a project of the Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin, Inc.
Resisting Resource Colonialism in the Lake Superior Region by Al Gedicks, September 2011
Bad River Watershed
Wisconsin League of Women Voters
Citizens Concerned about the Proposed Penokee Mine – Facbook page
Clean Wisconsin
Sierra Club: Wisconsin John Muir Chapter

Save Our Sky Blue Waters

The Water’s Edge
Hard Rock Mining:  Risks to Community Health by Aime Bualanger and Alexandra Gorman Dated:  September 2004
Many Ways of Peace
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ)
 Mining Associations Wisconsin Mining Association
The International Network for Acid Prevention – An organization of international mining companies dedicated to reducing liabilities associated with sulphide mine materials. January 2013
Geology January 2013:  Northland College professor describes the geological composition of rocks at the proposed Penokee Hills open pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin, about 22 miles south of Lake Superior
July 2012: “Geochemical, mineralogical and structural characterization of the Tyler Formation and Ironwood Iron Formation, Gogebic Range, Wisconsin.” – The purpose of this report is to provide baseline geologic information about the physical and chemical character of the Ironwood Iron Formation, a potential mining target, and the overlying shale or slate, known as the Tyler Formation, in the Gogebic Range of Iron and Ashland Counties, Wisconsin.
WI Geological & Natural History Survey
Overview of Metallic Mining in WI from Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
 US Geological Survey Mining Initiative – homepage
The Gogebic Iron Range – A Sample of the Northern Margin of the Penokean Fold and Thrust Belt from the US Geological Survey by William F. Cannon, Gene L. LaBerge, John S. Klasner, and Klaus J. Schulz
Maps Iron Mining in Wisconsin – Locations from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
Metallic Deposits in Wisconsin from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
Gogebic Range Mine & Borehole Locations – Iron County
Gogebic Range Mine & Borehole Locations – Ashland County
Mines, Mineral Exploration and Mineral Leasing in the Lake Superior Watershed prepared by the Lake Superior Workgroup’s Mining Committee
GLIFWC – Mining in the Ceded Territories
Water On The Line:  Gogebic Taconite’s Push to Mine the Penokee Hills by Carl Sack
Mining History Wisconsin Historical Society
Mining Artifacts
Events Bob Kincaid to Speak – Dec 5, 2012 @ Bad River Casino, Dec 6, 2012 @ Northland College
Midwest Mining Initiative/TESNAR 2011
TESNAR 2011 Abstracts – Summary of presentation and links to .pdf of each presentation
USGS Mining Initiative
Mining Education Week At Northland College January 19 through January 28, 2012
Extreme Mining: The Penokee Iron Mine Proposal by professor and author, Al Gedicks.  Time: 6pm on January 19 in the Sentry room Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Northland College
Additional Resources
Penokees – Big Bear Sundries December 2012: An open pit iron open mine is proposed for the ancient hills of the Penokee Hills 20 miles south of Lake Superior. Here are photos of the Penokees by Wisconsin photographer Joel Austin.

Final Sulfide Mining Regulation in the Great Lakes Region by the National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes Regional Resource Center – March 2012

Mining on Lake Superior: Past, Present and Future

The Lake Superior Iron Ranges:  Geology and Mining
USGS TESNAR 2011 Meeting, Presented: May 2011

Gold, Iron, Copper, Zinc, and Sand; What’s Driving the New Interest in Mining and Mineral Resources in Wisconsin  Presented by Bruce A. Brown, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
POSITION STATEMENT ON LRB-3520/1 by the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Presented: December 13, 2011
Position of Wisconsin Trout Unlimited IN OPPOSITION OF AB 426, THE WISCONSIN ASSEMBLY IRON MINING BILL Presented: January 10, 2012
Mining Update:  Current, Emerging and Future Issues by Raye Lahti for Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute Advisory Board Meeting Dated:April 2006
Tribal Rights and the Mining Bill a Newsmakers interview on Feb. 24, 2012 seen on Wisconsin Eye
In the News Wisconsin Legislators Push for Easier Iron Ore-Mine Permits During Worldwide Iron Glut (Fox News) – March 2013
Wisconsin Public Radio interviews Tom Tiffany, Republican State Senator from Hazelhurst, who is sponsoring a bill proposed to allow iron ore mining in the state, as well as Mike Wiggins, Tribal Chairman of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, who talks about how a mine could pollute the Bad River and Lake Superior. January 2013
This Week in Mining – Weekly Update on
Republicans unveil mining bill with some ‘less stringent’ regulations – Jan. 16, 2013
Gold Diggers and Indians – Article from In These Times, Jan 2013
Mining Meeting held in Ashland WI – Dec 6 2012 – A panel of three speakers gave presentations about the similarities of impacts caused by mountaintop removal for coal in West Virginia and open pit iron ore mining in northern Wisconsin: Bob Kincaid, Human Rights Activist from West Virginia; Jessica Koski, Mining Specialist for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community; and Mike Wiggins, Chair of Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
Defeated mining measure changes backed by Gogebic lobbyist – Dec 2 2012
Tribal Rights Central to State’s Mining Debate – Nov 29, 2012 from WUWM News
Radio Series of Interviews by WUWM – February 2012
Senate Mining Bill to Differ from Version Adopted by Assembly – Jan 27, 2012, from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin Endangers a Sacred Tradition Jan 25, 2012, from Indian Country Media Network
What the Mining Debate is Missing January 3, 2012
Wisconsin GOP Introduces Long-Awaited Mining Bill December 8, 2011
WUWM ~ Special Mining Commitee Holds First Meeting November 16, 2011

Mining Controversy in Wisconsin Puts Spotlight on Minnesota Taconite Oct 17 2011

Mining in Wisconsin: Promise or peril? October 9, 2011

WBEZ Radio ~ Great Lakes Series
 Risking life in the Mongolian gold rush – 18 August 2012
Tapping old mines for heat may create new energy source – Nov 6 2012
Wisconsin Mining Database
Additional Mining Types
Sand Mining – Sand Mining Stability Newsletter by UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension

Sand Mining – Sand Mining Economic Multiplier Newsletter by UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension
 Rushing Mine Permits Puts Water at Risk
Legal Perspective August 2013: The State Bar of Wisconsin held a public symposium on August 28, 2013, in Wausau on mining in Wisconsin in an effort to help the public decipher Wisconsin’s new mining plans. A panel of lawyers discussed the Penokee Range Mining Proposal from Gogebic Taconite and mining laws in Michigan. Click to View

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