- Metallic mining
- Contact information
- For information on metallic mining, contact:
- Phil Fauble
Waste & Materials Management Program
Recent and potential metallic mining projects in Wisconsin
Click on the tabs below for short descriptions of metallic mineral deposits in Wisconsin that are currently being explored for mining or were the sites of recently closed mines.
In addition to the deposits described in the tabs below, you can read information about the closed Flambeau Mine and its reclamation.
Location: Iron and Ashland counties
The Penokee/Gogebic deposit is generally defined as the 21-mile western end of the 60-mile long Gogebic Iron Range, which stretches east to west from Lake Gogebic, Michigan, to Mineral Lake, Wisconsin. The deposit is steeply dipping (between 40 and 90 degrees north, averaging 65 degrees) and contains 20-30 percent iron in the form of magnetite. Because the iron ore in this deposit is of lower grade than the natural hematitic ores previously mined in northern Wisconsin, the ore must be concentrated and processed into taconite pellets prior to shipping to a smelter.
Gogebic Taconite, LLC, potential project
Most of the surface and mineral rights for the land containing the deposit are currently owned by the LaPointe Iron Company, which has optioned potential development of the deposit to Gogebic Taconite, LLC.
Gogebic is currently considering potential development along a four-mile stretch east of Mellen in west-central Ashland County.
Read more about the Gogebic Taconite, LLC, potential mining project.
Location: Eastern Marathon County
The Reef Deposit is a potential high-grade gold deposit located in the town of Easton in Marathon County. Although the occurrence of gold has been known in this area for many years, the current deposit was drilled and described by Noranda Exploration in the 1970s and 1980s. The deposit was estimated to contain up to 454,000 tons of high-grade gold reserves in scattered, shallow weathered sulfides and quartz breccias. The Aquila Resources company has acquired options on the mineral and surface rights and is conducting exploration drilling. If this deposit is developed, it would likely be an open pit mine.
The DNR issued an exploration license to Aquila Resources in spring 2011 and performed a site inspection in May 2011. Phase I of the exploratory drilling program began in July 2011 and continued until September 2011 with the completion of 24 boreholes. Phase II of the drilling program started in January 2012 to access sites too wet for drilling in the summer.
Location: Chequamegon National Forest, Taylor County
The Bend Copper-Gold Deposit is located approximately 19 miles north-northwest of the city of Medford in Taylor County, within the Chequamegon National Forest. The deposit was originally discovered in 1986 and drilled in the early 1990s by the Jump River Joint Venture. The deposit is mostly copper-bearing sulfides with significant gold and minor amounts of silver in two overlapping zones, totaling an estimated 4.23 million tons of ore. Aquila Resources has obtained an exploration license from the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and is in the process of re-evaluating the deposit. If this deposit is ever developed it would likely be an underground mine.
The DNR performed a site inspection in January 2012 and exploratory drilling began in the same month.
Location: Oneida County
The Lynne deposit was discovered in 1990 by Noranda Exploration and is located on forestry land owned by Oneida County within the town of Lynne. It is primarily a zinc sulfide ore with significant lead and silver and minor amounts of gold and copper. The deposit is estimated to be approximately 5.6 million tons recoverable by open pit mining. Mining companies are considering further exploration and are working with Oneida County's forestry department and the county's mining impact committee to obtain exploration and development leases.
Location: Forest County
Exxon discovered the Crandon deposit, located on private property approximately five miles south of the city of Crandon, in 1976. Companies made two unsuccessful attempts at permitting, first in the 1980s and later between 1994 and 2003. The Chippewa and Potawatomi tribes purchased the site in 2003. There is no current mining activity.
The ore deposit is 4,900 feet long, 2,200 feet deep and 100 feet wide. It has an estimated 55 million tons of ore containing zinc, copper, lead, gold and silver. Had the deposit been mined, it would have been an underground mine with approximately 550 acres of surface processing and disposal areas.
Jackson Co. Iron Mine
Jackson Co. Iron Mine (now Lake Wazee)
Location: Jackson County
The Jackson County Iron Company operated a surface taconite mine from 1968 to 1982. The site was about 1,300 acres, including the open pit mine, associated processing facilities and disposal areas for mine tailings and waste rock.
Following passage of mining laws, the DNR issued a mining permit in 1981. After receiving their permit, the mine closed and began reclamation activities.
The company requested a Certificate of Completion (COC) in 1990. The DNR issued a partial COC covering most of the site. The company continued reclamation work for a decade. Persistent stability and revegetation concerns prevented the DNR from finding that the entire plant site had been fully reclaimed for many years, but the DNR issued the final COC in March 2011.