USA: Flambeau mine, operated under existing regulatory framework, hides contamination of groundwater & stream

Author: Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Published on: 11 September 2017

"Game-changing mine bill pits environmental groups, business interests against each other", 11 September 2017

...[A] bill Republican lawmakers would strike down restrictions on...mining....

...Supporters of the legislation are touting the economic advantages of mining. 

Environmentalists are highlighting the perils of mining rock from sulfide deposits, which have a history of leaching acidic material and polluting water.... 

...The Flambeau Mine plays a major role in that fight.... One side argues the mine was a model of safe operation; the other argues it is still polluting the Flambeau River and groundwater.

...At Flambeau, Rio Tinto, then known as Kennecott, operated a 35-acre open pit mine between 1993 to 1997.

...Flambeau is the “only example of a metallic mine that was permitted, constructed, operated and reclaimed under the state’s existing regulatory framework,” agency documents show.

Opponents, however, say that natural splendor of the site belies the contamination of groundwater and a small stream.

...Environmentalists and mine supporters have fought about the data for years. Mine opponents filed a federal lawsuit, but an appeals court ruled in 2013 that Rio Tinto complied with water pollution laws.

*Sourced by RepRisk due diligence on ESG and business conduct risks,

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Related companies: Rio Tinto