The Flambeau Mining Company, a Kennecott Minerals Company subsidiary, was the first Wisconsin metallic mineral company to pursue and receive permits for the construction of an open pit sulfide ore copper mine. Foth was invited to assist the Kennecott Minerals Company with the permitting, development and final closure of the Flambeau copper mine under Wisconsin’s newly established mine permitting regulations.


Foth was retained as the prime environmental consultant and provided technical and consulting assistance throughout the active life of the mine and during the mine reclamation process. The permitting process required extensive environmental studies to define baseline conditions and project potential environmental impacts. Socioeconomic impacts were studied and the project was developed as an asset to the local community. The project plan included protective measures for the environmental elements within the project area, including wetlands, surface waters, groundwater, air and biota. These measures included the protection of the Flambeau River through tertiary water treatment technologies. Furthermore, detailed monitoring programs were put in place to demonstrate that elements such as mercury could be removed from the mine water.


Extensive environmental studies, proper planning and follow-through made this mine an exemplary project, demonstrating that economic growth can coexist with stringent environmental regulations. The technical and consulting services provided by Foth allowed Kennecott Minerals Company to focus on mining-related issues. The delivery of these services was well received by the owner, the regulators and the general public.