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Gogebic Taconite, LLC: former mining project

Location: Iron and Ashland counties

The Gogebic Iron Range is an 80-mile-long belt of distinctive Precambrian bedrock in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It stretches east to west, roughly from Lake Gogebic in Michigan to Lake Namekagon in Wisconsin.

The Gogebic Deposit generally refers to a 21-mile-long segment of the Gogebic Iron Range between the community of Upson and Mineral Lake in Wisconsin. The deposit contains 20-30% iron in the form of magnetite. Because the iron ore is of lower grade than the natural hematitic ores mined previously in northern Wisconsin, the ore must be concentrated and processed into taconite pellets prior to shipping to a steel mill.

Gogebic Taconite: withdrawal

Most of the surface and mineral rights for the land containing the deposit are currently owned by the LaPointe Iron Company and RGGS Land & Minerals, Ltd., which have optioned potential development of the deposit to Gogebic Taconite, LLC through 2015.

Gogebic Taconite considered development along a four-mile stretch east of the Town of Mellen. However, the DNR received a preapplication withdrawal letter from Gogebic Taconite, LLC, on March 24, 2015, for the ferrous mining project located in both Iron and Ashland Counties. The letter follows the February 2015 closing of the company's Hurley office.

On March 24, 2015, all Managed Forest Law (MFL) land that was previously temporarily closed to public access was reopened to the public for hunting, fishing, hiking, sight-seeing and cross-country skiing.

Department officials continued to work with Gogebic Taconite to complete necessary work on the site to ensure the site is properly maintained and environmentally stable. The DNR issued a Certificate of Completion for exploration license #41001 on June 27, 2017 and a second Certificate of Completion for exploration #41002 on November 16, 2023.

Bulk sample plan

Gogebic Taconite submitted a bulk sample plan on June 17, 2013. The company submitted a revised bulk sample plan on November 25, 2013.

Exploration license application materials

Gogebic Taconite submitted a revised first exploration license application on May 16, 2013, and a second exploration license application on December 31, 2013. The company submitted renewal applications for both licenses on June 24, 2014. The DNR issued a Certificate of Completion for exploration license #41001 on June 27, 2017 and a second Certificate of Completion for exploration #41002 on November 16, 2023.

Withdrawn exploration license application materials

Gogebic Taconite submitted exploration license application materials on May 9, 2013. The company withdrew the application request on May 16, 2013.

Managed Forest Law (MFL) lands

Additional correspondence

Correspondence between DNR and Gogebic Taconite
Correspondence between DNR and US Army Corps of Engineers

2011 Gogebic Taconite application materials

The DNR issued Gogebic Taconite an exploration license in spring 2011 and performed a site inspection for the installation of eight boreholes in April 2011. The DNR also issued a storm water permit in June 2011. Drilling was scheduled for June 2011, but the company suspended all exploration activities and the boreholes were not completed.