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Mining in Wisconsin - state and local government documents : Home

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

UW Superior guide

From the Jim Dan Hill Library at the University of Wisconsin-Superior

  • Mining in Wisconsin
    • Some of the links in this guide go to subscription databases, and such links will only work for UW-Superior students, faculty, and staff.
    • Also contains links to freely available web sites, of companies and organizations, as well as government resources.
    • Contains


Links last checked March 11, 2016


Mining, for metals (such as iron) and for silica sand (frac sand), has become a hot topic in Wisconsin in the last few years.

This guide covers mining-related sites from Wisconsin state and county governments.

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

Local governments have primary responsibility for regulating nonmetallic mines, including sand/silica mining, though the Department of Natural Resources has some responsibilities for environmental regulations and permits governing non-metallic (including sand) mining.


From the Wisconsin State Law Library

From the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

  • Tap the Power: Iron Mining and Frac Sand
    • Compiled in January 2012 by Patricia Reichert.
    • Publication dates range from 1970s to 2010s.
    • 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.

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

Locations of deposits and mines/potential mines

Metallic minerals

Frac sand in Wisconsin

Videos 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.