PATTEN — An Ontario-based company on Wednesday withdrew its application for zoning changes needed for large-scale mining in northern Maine, but the company’s CEO suggested the application would be resubmitted at a later date.

Wolfden Resources’ announcement on Wednesday came as the Planning Commission looked set to reject the application, Maine Public reported.

Last week, LUPC staff recommended not approving the zoning changes.

“Staff identified 59 inconsistencies, errors and failures to provide information” requested by the commission, according to a staff analysis.

Wolfden CEO Ronald Little called the project a “showcase” operation that would use environmentally friendly means to mine copper, zinc, silver and other precious metals.

But commission member Millard Billings was frustrated by the lack of information provided to the panel.

“This has gone on forever, and this candidate and all future candidates need to understand the seriousness of staff inquiries,” Billings said.

Environmental groups opposed the plan. The Maine Natural Resources Council, one of its most vocal opponents, has warned that mining could cause permanent damage to natural resources just east of Baxter State Park, potentially poisoning yards. water, lakes and groundwater with toxic wastewater.

The committee accepted the offer to withdraw the petition. Wolfden will hire technical experts more familiar with Maine’s regulatory structures to help create a new app, Little said.

Wolfden bought the property in 2017, months after state lawmakers approved the new mining law following years of contentious debate. The property is located between 10 and 15 miles north of Patten.

Geologists discovered the ore deposits beneath Pickett Mountain – formerly known as the “Mount Chase deposit” – around 40 years ago.

Wolfden’s rezoning application indicated that the mining process would involve underground drilling and blasting. On-site crushing/grinding equipment would have processed up to 1,000 tonnes of material per day to separate valuable material from waste rock.


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