Gogebic Taconite and Wisconsin Mining Legislation


The proposed Gogebic Taconite (GTac) mine seeks to develop the Ironwood Iron Formation between Upson and Mellen, in Iron and Ashland Counties, Wisconsin. 


The Ironwood Iron Formation is mapped by the US Geological Survey




Gogebic Taconite claims the iron formation is similar in quality to the iron currently being mined in Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range.  Matt Fifield, Managing Director of Gogebic Taconite, discussed the merits of the GTac project and iron formation during the public meeting in Ashland, Wisconsin, on January 19, 2011.  He answered three questions:

·        What is GTac’s relationship with La Pointe Iron Company and RGGS?

·        Why is GTac interested in this deposit?  

·        If it’s so great, how come it hasn’t been mined?  


Gogebic Taconite also has similar information posted on their website:

·        GTac Project overview

·        Video: Understanding the Characteristics that Make this Deposit Attractive

·        Video: Understanding the GTac Iron Ore Deposit


Jack Parker, a retired mining engineer from Baltic, Michigan, is skeptical about the Gogebic Taconite proposal.  In particular, he claims Gogebic Taconite has done insufficient exploratory drilling to support GTac’s claims about the quality of the iron formation.

·        Partners in Forestry:  January 2012 Newsletter (Interview with Jack Parker, retired mining engineer). 

·        The Penokee Superscam” by Jack Parker.

·        February 15, 2012: Democracy, RIP.

·        March 7, 2012: The GTac Announcment


In June 2011 GTac said the project is on hold until Wisconsin rewrites mining laws.  Are they bluffing?  How much will Wisconsin weaken environmental protections to increase profits for Gogebic Taconite?   


Other links & documents:

·        The Silver Fox: A Parable (Woods Person Blog, 10/25/2011)

·       Ironwood Daily Globe letter to editor, 2/1/2012

·       Legislative Fiscal Bureau:  Fiscal Impacts of 2011 Assembly Bill 426 on the DNR.

·        Legislative Fiscal Bureau:  Metalliferous Mining: Taxes Under Current Law and 2011 Assembly Bill 426.

·       Letter to Joint Finance Committee by Sue and Alan Drum (3/1/2012)





First phased of the GTac project, between Upson and the County line. 

Satellite photo from Google Earth.



Northwood Alliance: Penokee Iron Mine


Last update 3/07/2012