Mines, pits and quarries
Most mining in Wisconsin is nonmetallic mining, producing rock, stone, sand, gravel, limestone and other materials used for construction, road building, agriculture and many other purposes. These mines are often called quarries or pits. Metallic mining involves the extraction of minerals bearing iron, copper, gold, lead, silver and zinc.
Local governments have primary responsibility for regulating nonmetallic mines, but the Department of Natural Resources provides oversight for local reclamation programs and ensures that quarries, gravel pits and other operations meet state reclamation requirements. Nonmetallic mining operations must also get DNR water permits, and some need air permits.
For metallic mining, the DNR is the state agency with primary responsibility for regulating environmental aspects of mining. Metallic mining operations may include an open pit or underground mine built to extract metallic-bearing minerals. Proposed projects undergo comprehensive review to determine whether they will comply with state laws and rules.
- Metallic mining