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Mining in Wisconsin - state and local government documents : Metallic mining (including iron mining)

State and local government information on metallic and sand (aka "silica" or "frac sand") mining in Wisconsin, with an emphasis on policy.

Geology Library

For more about the scientific aspects of mining, please consult the UW-Madison Geology and Geophysics Library.

Subject Guide

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Beth Harper
Memorial Library
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Government Information Specialist

State laws and proposed legislation

Note: Additional statutes, regulations & opinions may apply to your specific situation. This information is for reference only; it does not constitute legal advice!

Mining (Metallic and Nonmetallic)

  • Bibliography from the Wisconsin State Law Library.
  • Links to state statutes and parts of the Wisconsin Administrative Code related to mining.
  • Links to U.S. laws (in the U.S. Code) and federal regulations (in the Code of Federal Regulations, aka CFR).
  • Has a link to a site with Wisconsin local ordinances, which you can search for mining-related ordinances
  • Last updated February 24, 2016.

Wisconsin Legislative Documents


Links last checked on March 11, 2016.


Metallic minerals

Information from state agencies

A state agency, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, has the primary responsibility for environmental regulation of metallic mines.

Information from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

  • Publications and regulations
    • Note: Check the dates in the upper right corner of each information sheet; many of them were published or last revised more than 10 years ago.

Information from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey

Information from the Wisconsin State Law Library

Information from the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

  • Tap the Power: Iron Mining and Frac Sand
    • Compiled in January 2012 by Patricia Reichert.
    • Annotated list of publications and web sites focusing on
      • iron and frac sand mining
      • the last major revision to Wisconsin mining regulations in the 1970s
      • some documentation from Minnesota, which has a long history with iron mining
    • If a publication is online, this list provides a link to the publication.
    • If no link to a publication is provided, search the UW Madison libraries catalog to see if any campus libraries own the title. Also, the title will be available at the Legislative Reference Bureau's Theobald Legislative Library.

Local government pages

While the state has primary responsibility for regulating metallic mining in Wisconsin, some counties have established committees or considered local ordinances regarding this issue.

Ashland County   home page

Iron County   home page

Marathon County   home page

Oneida County   home page

Taylor County   home page

Documents about two late 20th-century mining projects in Wisconsin

The UW Digital Collections has digitized documents related to two metallic mining projects in Wisconsin.

Crandon Mine Reports
"The Crandon Mine Reports provide researchers access to information about the Crandon Mine permit process that occurred from between 1976, when the Exxon Coal and Minerals Company discovered a zinc-copper ore body located in northeastern Wisconsin near the city of Crandon, to 2003, when the Nicolet Minerals Company withdrew its permit applications after purchase of the project lands by the Mole Lake Sakaogon Chippewa and the Forest County Potawatomi Tribes."

The Kennecott Flambeau Mine Process Documents
The permitting process for this mine began in 1974, and restarted in 1987. Construction of the project site began in July 1991. Ore shipments from the site began in May 1993 and continued for just over 4 years. Backfilling of the pit took about 1.5 years and reclamation activities at the site were generally completed by the end of 1999.

Video of hearings, meetings

Wisconsin Eye
Wisconsin Eye is a statewide, non-partisan, multimedia, public affairs network with a mission to present an independent, statewide view of civic life and public policy discussion. The network covers floor sessions of the state Senate and Assembly, oral arguments in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and events in the Governor's and Attorney General's conference rooms.

The network also covers political and cultural events around the state, as well as public policy discussions.

Finding recordings related to mining

  1. Click the magnifying glass in the search box in the upper left of the screen. This should take you to a search page for the Wisconsin Eye archives.
  2. Type the word mining in the keyword search box.
    Optional: To narrow your search, you can also type one of the following terms: metallic, iron (or names of other specific metals or minerals), nonmetallic, sand, silica, or "industrial sand".
  3. Click the red search button below the search form.
  4. Results will be listed from newest to oldest.