- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin regulators have approved a mining company’s new cold-weather plan to extract mineral samples near Mellen.

Gogebic Taconite is looking to dig a 4.5-mile-long iron mine in the Penokee Hills. The company has been trying to secure a state permit to remove about 2,400 tons of rock from three sites for sampling.

The Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday released a Feb. 4 letter from the company saying it wants to conduct the sampling while access roads are frozen to minimize environmental impact.

The DNR gave Gogebic Taconite the go-ahead in a Feb. 7 letter, saying the company doesn’t need any permits if it finishes before the ground thaws.

Gogebic Taconite spokesman Bob Seitz says the company hopes to start the project within the next week.

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