Canadian mining company files papers to conduct exploratory drilling at Bend and Reef Deposits in Wisconsin – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON – A Canadian company has submitted documents indicating its interest in conducting exploratory drilling at two well-known deposits in central Wisconsin. 
Greenlight Metals, a Toronto, Ontario-based company, indicated in a series of reports filed earlier this month with the Canadian Securities Administration that it intends to conduct drilling at both the Bend and Reef Deposits in Wisconsin.
The company has not submitted documentation to the Department of Natural Resources, said Benjamin Callan, the chief of the integration services section of the agency. The company would need to secure permits from the DNR in order to conduct any sort of drilling at the sites. 
For the Reef deposit, which is located in Marathon County, the company would also need to apply for a conditional use permit and pay a $50,000 application fee, in addition to being required to pay for any costs the county incurs while reviewing the permit application. 
The company purchased the mineral rights for the deposits last year from Aquila Resources. Aquila sold the rights to the Bend and Reef deposits to allow more of its resources to go toward the Back Forty project along the Michigan/Wisconsin border near Marinette, which is further along in terms of exploration and permitting. 
According to the filings, the company plans to drill seven holes to search for minerals at the Bend property, costing the company nearly $500,000.   
More:Canadian company to purchase interest in Wisconsin gold and copper deposits for $7 million
The Bend deposit, located within the Chequamegon National Forest, is about 19 miles north of Medford. It was discovered in 1986 and first drilled in the 1990s. It contains copper, gold and silver, totaling an estimated 4.23 million tons of ore that would be accessed via an underground mine.
As for the Reef deposit, an unidentified number of holes will be drilled on the property, according to documents, which is expected to cost around $815,000. 
The Reef deposit is located near the Dells of the Eau Claire, outside Wausau. The location was first explored in the 1970s and 1980s and is thought to contain gold. If the deposit is developed, it would likely be an open-pit mine. 
Since the end of a mining moratorium, residents near the Reef site have pushed back against the idea of mining there, arguing that a mine could pollute the Dells, a county park and natural area known for its views of the Eau Claire River and wooded hiking paths. 
Aquila explored the Bend and Reef deposits in 2011 and 2012, but since then no further action has been taken, partially due to a mining moratorium in Wisconsin in place until the state Legislature overturned it in 2017, renewing interest in mining in the state.
Dan Colton, who is listed as CEO of Greenlight Metals, did not return a request for an interview Tuesday afternoon. 
More: ‘That’s sacred land to us’: Wisconsin residents worry about exploratory drilling near Wolf River
Laura Schulte can be reached at leschulte@jrn.com and on Twitter at @SchulteLaura


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