Regarding Mel Rothenburger’s column entitled, Imagine Town Without A Mine (The Daily News, Aug. 8), a posting was made online by a 25 year-old father who has a four-month-old baby boy.
What the young man wrote was well worded and meaningful to many people. His last sentence summed up his feelings:
“My gut says it’s a bad thing. That’s enough for me.” Whether a gut feeling is enough to make the decision for people, sometimes a gut feeling is a good indicator especially when things don’t seem to add up.
In my research, one of the studies I found was done on the Flambeau Mine
near Ladysmith, Wis. The mine was given permission to operate in 1991 and began operation in 1993.
It operated for four years and produced 181,000 tons of copper, 334,000 ounces of gold and 3.3 million ounces of silver. The size of the open pit was 220 feet deep, half a mile long and 32 acres in size. Almost nine million tons of waste rock (both high and low sulfur content) was produced.
The disturbing part of the document was a paragraph that reads as follows:
“The pollution problems at the Flambeau Mine were not predicted to occur when the mine was designed and assessed for environmental impacts. Monitoring results reveal chemical reactions taking place despite predictions that limestone and water would limit them.”
— Sources: Chambers, D.M and K. Zamzow, 2009, Report on Groundwater and Surface Water Contamination at the Flambeau Mine, Center for Science in Public Participation. Website: www.miningtruth.org/wp-content/uploads/ 2013/01/Flambeau-Mine-fact-sheet-
With a proposed mine as large as Ajax, I believe we have a right to be concerned. Its size is to be many times the size of Flambeau Mine and its life is to be 25 years instead of four years.
The rural folks (in areas such as Knutsford, Goose Lake and Cherry Creek) who depend on wells for their water supply deserve to have their concerns
“Gut feelings” are sometimes all we have about those things that are not predicted to occur when a project like Ajax mine is designed and assessed for environmental impact.