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Public Lab Research note

Proposed Wolfden Mine at Pickett Mountain

by Greenhorns | May 13, 2021 21:44 13 May 21:44 | #26582 | #26582

A Canadian mining company, Wolfden Resources Corporation, has proposed a polymetallic mining operation on 6800 acres near Pickett Mountain. They claim that they will safely mine the area for Zinc, Lead, Copper, Silver and Gold. The state has yet to grant Wolfden's rezoning request, but local opposition is already building around fears of groundwater contamination.

While the company claims that its mining methods are safe, experience has shown how rarely miners can extract their minerals without negatively impacting the local environment.

We are interested in developing methods for studying the water quality in the area surrounding the proposed mine. Should the mine be approved, we want to be able to document how local water quality is affected by the mining operation. We are seeking advice and suggestions from other activists and citizen-scientists who have experience studying the impacts of mining on water quality.

Here is a selection of relevant links:

Wolfden's website

Wolfden's Water Management Plan, submitted to state for rezoning

Government Agency Comments on the Wolfden Rezoning Petition

Coverage of local opposition

[ questions:water-quality]


Great to hear from you on this serious issue. Can you call into https://publiclab.org/open-call tomorrow (or any Tuesday) at 3pm? I've been getting some other emails from you all, and so i am aware that you already have the information to refine this question into multiple, more answerable components 😃

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We will call in for the open call tomorrow! Looking forward to it.

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@Greenhorns There has never been a sulfide mine that has not produced terrible environmental damage and acid runoff. My experience with mining companies in Wisconsin is that they routinely lie. The Sierra Club has a lot of good info on sulfide mining. Brief quote here: "1) No metallic sulfide mine has ever been demonstrated to operate in the long term without damaging the environment in the United States or Canada. In fact, metallic sulfide mines harm nearly all aspects of our environment — destroying our land, polluting our air, and poisoning our water. In fact, a study in 2012 found that, out of the 14 copper sulfide mines responsible for nearly all the copper production in the United States, every single one of them spilled toxic waste materials into the environment, and 92 percent failed to contain seepage.

Many metallic sulfide mines are open pit mines, meaning companies kill forests and vegetation by bulldozing expansive swaths of land, before digging large craters to excavate the minerals. In fact, more than 80 percent of copper operations in the United States use open pit mining. Because it involves clearing vast natural areas, it reduces biodiversity, contributes to deforestation, and devastates entire ecosystems." Attached are some debunked falsehoods routinely pushed by mining companies. Top_13_Falsehoods_Used_To_Justify_SB_395_Final.pdf

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Watch this video from Mountain Justice monitoring conductivity in the streams throughout the watershed where mining is happening: https://publiclab.org/notes/warren/4-29-2011/video-geocoded-conductivity-readings-strip-mine-watersheds . See other mine monitoring content on https://publiclab.org/tag/mining and if you like, leave comments to reach out to the authors.

We held a Barnraising in West Virginia in 2016 with @LauraChipley and others who work against mountaintop removal mining https://publiclab.org/wiki/appalachia-barnraising-2017

For other work in the United States, also see:

There are many more international examples, perhaps others could add them here.

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