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Company may limit iron mine to 1 Wisconsin county

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — A company that wants to develop an iron ore mine in northwestern Wisconsin might limit the project to only one county instead of two, a company spokesman said Thursday.

Gogebic Taconite is considering building the mine solely in Iron County because of opposition from officials in adjacent Ashland County, company spokesman Bob Seitz told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1Bel1Zr ).

Gogebic's plans have called for the proposed mine to include Ashland and Iron counties. Ashland County composes about 400 acres of the 3,200 acres of the site.

But with opposition in Ashland County, Seitz said Gogebic officials will spend the winter studying how the site could be reconfigured to operate in Iron County without the loss of major iron ore reserves.

If Ashland County is left out, the size of two open pit mines would remain roughly the same, Seitz said. But the long-term operation might shorten, perhaps from 35 to 30 years.

In late August, Gogebic said its application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop the mine will be pushed back until at least the fall of next year. The company had planned to submit the application in the spring of 2015 but delayed the submission to gather additional environmental data.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

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