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Company exploring for industry-related metals in Fillmore County

Fri, Dec 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

Several property owners around Peterson and Mabel have been contacted by a mineral exploration company about the right to test for base metals on their land.

Prime Meridian Resources of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin hopes to begin a three year exploration program to investigate for titanium oxide and iron oxide. The rock type that hosts the titanium and iron may also contain trace amounts of copper, nickel and platinum. The companys contract includes gold, although company president Michael Senn told the Journal by phone, that they dont expect to find any gold.

Its a standard part of our contract, Senn said.

Senn, a geologist, said that Prime Meridian Resources became interested in this area after coming across an airborne magnetic survey carried out by New Jersey Zinc back in the 1970s. At that time, New Jersey Zinc had thousands of acres leased for mineral exploration in Fillmore County.

They even drilled one hole south of Peterson, Senn said. They went down 620 feet and found the type of rock that contained interesting amounts of titanium oxide.

But Senn said that high extraction costs and low prices at that time probably prevented New Jersey Zinc from going further.

Prime Meridian Resources has already signed some contracts with landowners in the Peterson area and hope to begin exploration drilling within the next year. The company is offering three year exploration contracts with an option to lease for mineral extraction. Several residents around Peterson have signed three year contracts to allow exploration.

Senn said that lease payments vary by site and are closely tied to property values.

There is no mining planned at this date, Prime Meridian Resources, which is a mineral exploration company, is looking for a corporate partner to help fund the very high costs of this type of exploration, and, in the event of an economic discovery, specializes in mining to efficiently advance the project. According to Senn, in the event that mining were to take place in the future, it would all be done underground.

There would be no open-pit mining because the sought after rock is too deep, Senn said.

According to Fillmore County Zoning Administrator Norm Craig before any mining activity could take place a conditional use permit would need to be obtained from the county. Depending on the kinds of extraction they would be doing, they may also need state permits as well, Craig said, referring to possible permits from the DNR as well as the MPCA.

Craig also said that any mining would require a plan for land reclamation.

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