LADYSMITH, Wis. (WSAU) - We’ve heard many concerns about what open pit mines can do to the environment after recent state law changes allowed Gogebic Taconite an easier path to the permitting process. Wisconsin has a mine that is a success story, both economically and environmentally.
The Flambeau Mine just south of Ladysmith began construction in the summer of 1991, and reclamation was finished by the end of 1999. The mine was just feet from the Flambeau River, and yielded copper, silver, and gold during it’s time of operation.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials still monitor the site, and had an opportunity to show it off to their Minnesota counterparts this week. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner John Linc Stine says, “The Flambeau mine appears to be one that was closed properly and did not leave a pollution legacy, as many copper mines have.”
Minnesota officials are observing mines around the country as they examine their regulations.
The Flambeau Mine is now home to nature trails, a DNR office, and the buildings have been converted to other uses. A history of the Flambeau Mine with pictures, documents, and reports is available at their website, here.