"Mining site" means the surface area disturbed by a mining 2
operation, including the surface area from which the nonferrous metallic
or refuse or both have been removed, the surface area covered by refuse, all lands 4
disturbed by the construction or improvement of haulageways, and any surface areas 5
in which structures, equipment, materials and any other things used in the mining 6
operation are situated.
"Nonferrous metallic mineral" means an ore or other earthen 9
material to be excavated from the natural deposits on or in the earth for its metallic 10
content but not primarily for its iron oxide content.
"Prospecting" means engaging in the examination of an area for the 13
purpose of determining the quality and quantity of nonferrous metallic
other than for exploration but including the obtaining of an ore a nonferrous metallic
sample, by such physical means as excavating, trenching, construction of 16
shafts, ramps and tunnels and other means, other than for exploration, which the 17
department, by rule, identifies, and the production of prospecting refuse and other 18
associated activities. "Prospecting" shall not include such activities when the 19
activities are, by themselves, intended for and capable of commercial exploitation of 20
the underlying nonferrous
ore body. However, the fact that prospecting activities and 21
construction may have use ultimately in mining, if approved, shall not mean that 22
prospecting activities and construction constitute mining within the meaning of sub. 23
(9), provided such activities and construction are reasonably related to prospecting 24
"Refuse" means all waste soil, rock, mineral, liquid, vegetation and 2
other material, except merchantable by-products, directly resulting from or 3
displaced by the prospecting or mining and from the cleaning or preparation of 4nonferrous metallic
minerals during prospecting or mining operations, and shall 5
include all waste materials deposited on or in the prospecting or mining site from 6
(a) "Driller" means a person who performs core, rotary, percussion 9
or other drilling involved in exploration for nonferrous
Except as provided under par. (b), ss. 293.21 and 12
293.81 and rules promulgated under those sections apply to radioactive waste site 13
exploration, to activities related to radioactive waste site exploration and to persons 14
engaging in or intending to engage in radioactive waste site exploration or related 15
activities in the same manner as those sections and rules are applicable to 16nonferrous metallic
mineral exploration, to activities related to nonferrous metallic 17
mineral exploration and to persons engaging in or intending to engage in nonferrous
mineral exploration or related activities.
293.25 (4) Regulation of exploration and related provisions.
293.13, 293.15 (1) to (12), 293.85, 293.87 and 293.89 and rules promulgated under 22
those sections apply to radioactive waste site exploration, to activities related to 23
radioactive waste site exploration and to persons engaging in or intending to engage 24
in radioactive waste site exploration or related activities in the same manner as 25
those sections and rules are applicable to nonferrous metallic
to activities related to nonferrous metallic
mineral exploration and to persons 2
engaging in or intending to engage in nonferrous metallic
mineral exploration or 3
(b) If the department finds that the anticipated life and total area 6
of a nonferrous metallic
mineral deposit are of sufficient magnitude that reclamation 7
of the mining site consistent with this chapter requires a comprehensive plan for the 8
entire affected area, it shall require an operator to submit with the application for 9
a mining permit, amended mining site or change in mining or reclamation plan, a 10
comprehensive long-term plan showing, in detail satisfactory to the department, the 11
manner, location and time for reclamation of the entire area of contiguous land which 12
will be affected by mining and which is owned, leased or under option for purchase 13
or lease by the operator at the time of application. Where a nonferrous metallic 14
mineral deposit lies on or under the lands of more than one operator, the department 15
shall require the operators to submit mutually consistent comprehensive plans.
(b) "Geologic information" means information concerning 18
descriptions of an a nonferrous
ore body, descriptions of reserves, tonnages and 19
grades of nonferrous
ore, descriptions of a drill core or bulk sample including 20
analysis, descriptions of drill hole depths, distances and similar information related 21
to the nonferrous
(b) "Sulfide ore body" means a mineral deposit in which nonferrous 24
metals are mixed with sulfide minerals.
AB426-ASA1, s. 56
293.50 (2) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(intro.) Beginning on May 7, 1998, the department may not issue a 2
permit under s. 293.49 for the purpose of
the mining of a sulfide ore body until all of 3
the following conditions are satisfied:
(a) The department determines, based on information provided by 6
an applicant for a permit under s. 293.49 and verified by the department, that a 7
mining operation has operated in a sulfide ore body which, together with the host 8nonferrous
rock, has a net acid generating potential in the United States or Canada 9
for at least 10 years without the pollution of groundwater or surface water from acid 10
drainage at the tailings site or at the mine site or from the release of heavy metals.
(b) The department determines, based on information provided by 13
an applicant for a permit under s. 293.49 and verified by the department, that a 14
mining operation that operated in a sulfide ore body which, together with the host 15nonferrous
rock, has a net acid generating potential in the United States or Canada 16
has been closed for at least 10 years without the pollution of groundwater or surface 17
water from acid drainage at the tailings site or at the mine site or from the release 18
of heavy metals.
Upon notification that an application for a prospecting or mining 21
permit has been approved by the department but prior to commencing prospecting 22
or mining, the operator shall file with the department a bond conditioned on faithful 23
performance of all of the requirements of this chapter and all rules adopted by the 24
department under this chapter. The bond shall be furnished by a surety company 25
licensed to do business in this state. In lieu of a bond, the operator may deposit cash,
certificates of deposit or government securities with the department. Interest 2
received on certificates of deposit and government securities shall be paid to the 3
operator. The amount of the bond or other security required shall be equal to the 4
estimated cost to the state of fulfilling the reclamation plan, in relation to that 5
portion of the site that will be disturbed by the end of the following year. The 6
estimated cost of reclamation of each prospecting or mining site shall be determined 7
by the department on the basis of relevant factors including, but not limited to, 8
expected changes in the price index, topography of the site, methods being employed, 9
depth and composition of overburden and depth of nonferrous metallic
deposit being mined.
(a) An approval under s. 281.34 is required to withdraw groundwater 13for prospecting or mining
or to dewater mines if the capacity and rate of withdrawal 14
of all wells involved in the withdrawal of groundwater or the dewatering of mines 15
exceeds 100,000 gallons each day. A permit under s. 283.31 is required to discharge 16
pollutants resulting from the dewatering of mines.
(b) The department may not issue an approval under s. 281.34 if the 19
withdrawal of groundwater for prospecting or mining purposes or the dewatering of 20
mines will result in the unreasonable detriment of public or private water supplies 21
or the unreasonable detriment of public rights in the waters of the state. No 22
withdrawal of groundwater for prospecting or mining purposes
dewatering of 23
mines may be made to the unreasonable detriment of public or private water supplies 24
or the unreasonable detriment of public rights in the waters of the state.
1293.86 Visitorial powers of department.
Any duly authorized officer, 2
employee or representative of the department may enter and inspect any property, 3
premises or place on or at which any prospecting or metallic
mining operation or 4
facility is located or is being constructed or installed at any reasonable time for the 5
purpose of ascertaining the state of compliance with this chapter and chs. 281, 285, 6
289 to 292, 295
and 299, subchs. I and II of ch. 295,
and rules adopted pursuant 7
thereto. No person may refuse entry or access to any such authorized representative 8
of the department who requests entry for purposes of inspection, and who presents 9
appropriate credentials, nor may any person obstruct, hamper or interfere with any 10
such inspection. The department shall furnish to the prospector or operator, as 11
indicated in the prospecting or mining permit, a written report setting forth all 12
observations, relevant information and data which relate to compliance status.
AB426-ASA1, s. 63
Chapter 295 (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
NONMETALLIC MINING RECLAMATION;16
OIL AND GAS;
ferrous metallic mining
(f) Any mining operation, the reclamation of which is required in a 20
permit obtained under ch. 293 or subch. III of ch. 295
AB426-ASA1, s. 65
Subchapter III of chapter 295 [precedes 295.40] of the statutes is 22
created to read:
ferrous metallic mining
1295.40 Legislative findings.
The legislature finds all of the following:
That attracting and aiding new mining enterprises and expanding the 3
mining industry in Wisconsin is part of Wisconsin public policy.
That mining for nonferrous metallic minerals is different from mining for 5
ferrous minerals because in mining for nonferrous metallic minerals, sulfite 6
minerals react, when exposed to air and water, to form acid drainage.
That if the mineral products and waste materials associated with 8
nonferrous metallic sulfide mining operations are not properly managed and 9
controlled, they can cause significant damage to the environment, affect human 10
health, and degrade the quality of life of the affected community.
That the special concerns surrounding nonferrous metallic mining warrant 12
more stringent regulatory measures than those warranted for ferrous mining 13
That the provisions in ch. 293, 2009 stats., are a deterrent to ferrous mining 15
in this state and are not necessary to ensure that ferrous mining will be conducted 16
in an environmentally sound manner.
That simplifying and shortening the permitting process for ferrous metallic 18
mineral mining when compared to nonferrous metallic mineral mining, as 19
Minnesota and Michigan have done, will encourage ferrous metallic mineral mining 20
in Wisconsin and create jobs and generate resources for the state.
That because of the fixed location of ferrous mineral deposits in the state, 22
it is probable that mining those deposits will result in adverse impacts to areas of 23
special natural resource interest and to wetlands, including wetlands located within 24
areas of special natural resource interest and that, therefore, the use of wetlands for 25
bulk sampling and mining activities, including the disposal or storage of mining
wastes or materials, or the use of other lands for mining activities that would have 2
a significant adverse impact on wetlands, is presumed to be necessary.
In this subchapter:
"Air pollution" means the presence in the atmosphere of one or more air 5
contaminants in such quantities and of such duration as is injurious to human health 6
or welfare, animal or plant life, or property.
"Applicant" means a person who applies for, or is preparing to apply for, an 8
exploration license or a mining permit or who files a bulk sampling plan.
"Approval" means any permit, license, certification, contract, or other 10
authorization that the department issues, or any other action by the department, 11
that is required for exploration, to engage in bulk sampling at a bulk sampling site, 12
or to construct or operate a mining site, including any action required for any of the 13
(a) The withdrawal of land entered as county forest land under s. 28.11 and any 15
modification of, or amendment to, a county forest land use plan necessitated by the 16
withdrawal of the land.
(b) The withdrawal of land entered as forest cropland under s. 77.10.
(c) The withdrawal of land designated as managed forest land under subch. VI 19
of ch. 77 and any modification of, or amendment to, a managed forest land 20
management plan necessitated by the withdrawal of the land.
"Background water quality" means the concentration of a substance in 22
groundwater as determined by monitoring at locations that will not be affected by 23
a mining site.
"Baseline water quality" means the concentration of a substance in 2
groundwater or surface water as determined by monitoring before mining operations 3
"Borrow materials" means soil or rock used in construction or reclamation 5
"Bulk sampling" means excavating in a potential mining site by removing 7
less than 10,000 tons of material for the purposes of obtaining site-specific data to 8
assess the quality and quantity of the ferrous mineral deposits and of collecting data 9
from and analyzing the excavated materials in order to prepare the application for 10
a mining permit or for any other approval.
"Closing" means the time at which a mining waste site ceases to accept 12
"Closure" means the actions taken by an operator to prepare a mining waste 14
site for long-term care and to make it suitable for other uses.
"Construct" means to engage in a program of on-site construction, 16
including site clearing, grading, dredging, or filling of land.
"Department" means the department of natural resources.
"Disposal" means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, or placing of 19
a substance into or on any land or water.
"Environmental impact report" means a document submitted by a person 21
seeking a mining permit that discloses environmental impacts of the proposed 22
"Environmental impact statement" means a detailed statement under s. 24
1.11 (2) (c).
"Environmental pollution" means contaminating or rendering unclean or 2
impure the air, land, or waters of the state, or making the air, land, or waters of the 3
state injurious to public health or animal or plant life.
"Exploration license" means a license under s. 295.44.
"Ferrous mineral" means an ore or earthen material in natural deposits 6
in or on the earth that primarily exists in the form of an iron oxide, including taconite 7
"Fill area" means an area proposed to receive or that is receiving direct 9
application of mining waste.
"Freeboard" means the height of the top of a dam above the adjacent liquid 11
surface within the impoundment.
"Groundwater" means any of the waters of the state occurring in a 13
saturated subsurface geological formation of rock or soil.
"Groundwater quality" means the chemical, physical, biological, thermal, 15
or radiological quality of groundwater at a site or within an underground aquifer.
"Groundwater quality standards" means numerical values consisting of 17
enforcement standards and preventive action limits contained in Table 1 of s. NR 18
140.10, and Table 2 of s. NR 140.12, Wis. Adm. Code, and any preventive action limits 19
for indicator parameters identified under s. NR 140.20 (2).
"Leachate" means water or other liquid that has been contaminated by 21
dissolved or suspended materials due to contact with refuse disposed of on the 22
"Merchantable by-product" means all waste soil, rock, mineral, liquid, 24
vegetation, and other material directly resulting from or displaced by the mining, 25
cleaning, or preparation of minerals, during mining operations, that are determined
by the department to be marketable upon a showing of marketability made by the 2
operator, accompanied by a verified statement by the operator of his or her intent to 3
sell the material within 3 years from the time it results from or is displaced by 4
"Mining" means all or part of the process involved in the mining of a 6
ferrous mineral, other than for exploration, including commercial extraction, 7
agglomeration, beneficiation, construction of roads, removal of overburden, and the 8
production of refuse, involving the removal of more than 15,000 tons of earth 9
material a year in the regular operation of a business for the purpose of extracting 10
a ferrous mineral.
"Mining permit" means the permit under s. 295.58.
"Mining plan" means a proposal for mining on a mining site, including a 13
description of the systematic activities to be used for the purpose of extracting 14
"Mining site" means the surface area disturbed by mining, including the 16
surface area from which the ferrous minerals or refuse or both have been removed, 17
the surface area covered by refuse, all lands disturbed by the construction or 18
improvement of haulageways, and any surface areas in which structures, 19
equipment, materials, and any other things used in the mining are situated.
"Mining waste" means tailings, waste rock, mine overburden, waste 21
treatment sludges, or other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semi-solid, 22
or contained gaseous material, resulting from mining or from the cleaning or 23
preparation of ferrous minerals during mining operations, except that "mining 24
waste" does not include topsoil and mine overburden intended to be returned to the 25
mining site or used in the reclamation process and that is placed on the mining site
for those purposes, as provided for in the approved mining plan, and does not include 2
"Mining waste site" means any land or appurtenances thereto used for the 4
storage or disposal of mining waste or for the storage of merchantable by-products, 5
but does not include land or appurtenances used in the production or transportation 6
of mining waste, such as the concentrator, haul roads, or tailings pipelines, that are 7
part of the mining site.
"Nonferrous metallic mineral" means an ore or other earthen material to 9
be excavated from natural deposits on or in the earth for its metallic content but not 10
primarily for its iron oxide content.
"Operator" means any person who is engaged in mining, or who holds a 12
mining permit, whether individually, jointly, or through subsidiaries, agents, 13
employees, or contractors.
"Overburden" means any unconsolidated material that overlies bedrock.
"Person" means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, 16
partnership, association, local governmental agency, interstate agency, state agency, 17
or federal agency.
"Piping" means the progressive erosion of materials from an embankment 19
or foundation caused by the seepage of water.