Aug 31, 2013

Mining Company May Dump Its Wisconsin District Attorney

Mining Company: We're for you, Wisconsin
Gogebic Taconite Mine (GTac) wrote its own Wisconsin legislation; keeps scientific data secret from the people; forbids environmental experts from approaching the proposed mine site, and is now wants to keep the Wisconsin people away from 1,000s of acres of forests, as demanded in new legislation proposed and supported solely by the Republican Party.

This follows GTac's worst blunder yet in hiring a bunch of heavily armed, wanna-be Rambos from Arizona, Bulletproof Security, parading around on GTac's proposed $1.5 billion open-pit iron-ore mine site in the Penokee Hills of northern Wisconsin.

But perhaps the most foolish of GTac's blunders is keeping its Iron County (Wisconsin) District Attorney, Martin Lipske, as its legal frontman.

Lipske went from a Gov. James Doyle-endorsing Democrat to an Independent (he won reelection in 2012 after a controversial recount) after word went out in Iron County in 2011 that GTac was coming in with Republican support.

Lipske presents to the Wisconsin public the legal equivalent of the face of the corporate terrorist—corrupt, a shady reputation with a history of professional misconduct, and perversely disdainful of innocent Wisconsin people.

Check out Martin 'Marty' Lipske on search sites, and you won't find out much beyond the fact his license to practice law was suspended for professional misconduct, and he put an innocent man in prison after losing DNA evidence in 1997; and protecting favored defendants in Iron County, including favored prostitutes. Hey, welcome to Hurley, Wisconsin in Iron County.

Lipske had his license to practice law suspended six times in Wisconsin, once for professional misconduct in a suspension that lasted almost four years shortly before Iron County Judge Patrick J. 'Madman' Madden recruited Lipske to move from Douglas County (Wisconsin) to run for District Attorney in Iron County where Madden has served as judge with an equally corrupt reputation since 1986.

Rob Ganson’s photo of Bulletproof Security using silencers
on their semi-automatics was taken July 6, 2013 in Iron County
Madden recused himself from Lipske's latest attempted miscarriage of justice after Lipske targeted anti-mining Iron County resident, 76-year-old Robert Gollubske, for Gollubske's bumbled attempt to contact the FBI after Gollubske's home and farm were rocked by explosions by a local blacktop company that Gollubske fears is a precursor of what the huge open-pit mine will wreak upon the Penokee Hills range.

Lipske has also launched a heavy-handed prosecution against 26-year-old Katie Kloth whom Lipske wants to prosecute with a violent felony and three misdemeanors for protesting the Gogebic Taconite mine in June 2013.

However, Lipske now refuses to prosecute Bulletproof Security for operating without a license in Wisconsin, among other continued violations of Wisconsin law.

The gig is up on Lipske; everyone knows the guy is bent. GTac has its own district attorney.

The only question is how long before Cline Resource and Development Company (of which Gogebic Taconite (GTac) is one subsidiary) comes to the conclusion that Lipske is too much a liability.

In the July 2013 - August 2013 issue of Mining Magazine, Lee Buchsbaum puts it thusly in a piece in which Buchsbaum paints a picture of a lot of money at stake for keeping a frontman like Lipske in place with all his dirt. 

GTac would do better with the image of a semi-automatic rifle with a silencer pointed out in the north woods of Wisconsin. Writes Buchsbaum:

Though not as sexy as gold or platinum, many have argued that iron ore, the primary ingredient in steel, remains the world's most important commodity. ...

The majority of US iron-ore production is concentrated in Minnesota and Michigan, though historically it has also been produced in volume in Wisconsin and, during World Wars One and Two, it was extracted in large quantities from the southwestern states of Utah and Nevada. However, the heart of the industry remains in Minnesota. ...

 In total, 13 iron-ore mines (11 open pits, one reclamation operation, and one dredging operation), nine concentration plants and nine pelletising plants were operational during 2012, as reported by the USGS. However, eight mines operated by three companies - Cliffs Natural Resources, Essar Steel, and US Steel - accounted for virtually all of the production.

New direct-reduction-injection (DRI) processes, cheap natural gas and the enlarged Panama Canal are now driving investors to open new mines and return to old diggings and tailings piles, while reaching out to new international customers.

One of the biggest recent moves in the US iron-ore segment is the entry of what might prove to be a major new producer. Gogebic Taconite (Gtac), a subsidiary of the expanding US coal producer Cline Resource and Development Co (also owner of Foresight Energy) has literally redefined the concept of high-productivity, low-cost longwall mining.

Legislation vital to the re-establishment of iron-ore mining in Wisconsin passed with support from Gtac
and, on June 18, Gtac filed for permits regarding its iron-ore mine and processing plant - the first new iron-ore mine in the state for decades. ...


Following an arduous and contentious two-year effort to change the mining laws in Wisconsin, on June 18, officials from Gtac, filed with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources a sample plan and pre-application notice outlining the firm's intent to file an application for an iron-ore mining permit, the first one requested in nearly a century.

Though the bulk sample plan is preliminary to the firm's first pilot efforts to actually recover and determine the quantity and quality of the ore in the deposit, the pre-application is also the first step in a process company officials hope will one day lead to the development of an operating taconite mine.

Gtac has estimated that the US$1.5 billion operation will eventually be capable of producing 8Mt/y of iron ore in phase one of the project, fully 15% of the current total US production.

Extracting from a two-billion-tonne body of crude taconite ore, the deposit Gtac will mine is approximately 35.4km long and dips at about 65 degrees to the north, while outcropping along the top of a hill. ...

Gtac's overall vision is similar to what the Cline Group has accomplished in a relatively short time in the Illinois coal fields. ...

"The company sat on this reserve for 60 years. During its restructuring in 2001 and 2002, US Steel purged its nonproductive and fallow resources," says Gtac mine president Bill Williams. "We now have a clear permitting process, and we're targeting the 2016 to 2017 timeframe to be in production."

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