Background

Foth was retained by the Crandon Mining Company, now the Nicolet Minerals Company, to assist in the acquisition of permits associated with the development of a new zinc and copper mine. More than 40 permits were needed from the WDNR and other federal, state and local agencies. The permitting effort was one of the most comprehensive in the United States and had a high public profile that required careful management of regulatory and public affairs.

Approach

An extensive environmental evaluation focusing on impacts to groundwater, surface water and air was completed as a part of the project’s broad permitting work. The Crandon Project is a greenfield mine development effort incorporating the evaluation of potential impacts to all environmental elements, including the study of surface water, groundwater, wetlands, air and biological resources. The study links socioeconomics to the planning project, demonstrating that the mine, developed with the protection of the environment in mind, would provide an economic benefit to the region. Significant effort was devoted to balancing environmental, social and economic considerations.

Results

Foth successfully addressed a number of challenges for our client, which included estimating mine dewatering impacts on lakes, streams and wetlands; developing a plan to mitigate adverse impacts to surface water due to mine dewatering; treating mine water to standards that exceed safe drinking water requirements and discharging it back into a watershed that contributes to a state-designated Outstanding Water Resource. We also designed a tails management facility and mine closure plan that provide long-term protection of groundwater and surface water resources.