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The Rural Maine Reporting Project is made possible through the generous support of the Betterment Fund.

Canadian Company Submits Zoning Application For Pickett Mountain Mining Project

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LandVest via wolfdenresources.com

A Canadian company is asking the state’s Land Use Planning Commission for permission to rezone nearly 200 acres for construction of an underground metallic mineral mine in northern Penobscot County north of Patten.

If approved, the mine would be the first developed since the late 1970s and the first authorized since the Legislature passed new mining regulations in 2017.

In its application, Wolfden Mt. Chase LLC says it estimates the construction, operation and reclamation of the mining project, known as Pickett Mountain, would span 10-15 years, possibly longer if additional minable ore is discovered.

Wolfden describes the area as a “high-grade base metal deposit primarily composed of Zinc, Lead, Copper, Silver and Gold.” It says its plan is to “excavate valuable rocks … via drilling and blasting.”

The material would then be hauled by underground trucks to the surface and crushed by an onsite concentrator into a fine dust at the rate of up to 1,000 tons per day. Valuable minerals would be separated out and the tailings would be used as backfill or taken to an approved Tailings Management Facility.

According to the application, the entire project will require minimal amounts of water.

A call to the company’s CEO seeking comment was not immediately returned.

The rezoning proposal, which is likely to come under close scrutiny from environmental groups, will also be the subject of a public hearing that has not yet been scheduled.