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January 23, 2013 J

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2013 Iron Mining Reform – Assembly Bill 1/Senate Bill 1

Economic Impact – Largest private investment in State History – Good paying jobs for Generations!

  • $1.5 billion in Private Investment, NO Tax Dollars needed to secure it
  • 700 direct construction jobs in Phase One of the mine
  • Thousands of jobs to support the mine thereafter
    • Two of the largest mining equipment manufacturers are located in Wisconsin, Joy Global and Caterpillar are both located in Milwaukee and will benefit greatly from the mine
    •  Other companies gaining business will be L&S Electric in Schofield, Valley Plating and Fabricating in Green Bay and Phoenix Products in Milwaukee
    • Restaurants and hotels in the area of the mine as well as homebuilders, road builders and support services for the employees will be positively impacted.
    • Iron County is suffering an unemployment rate of 11.9%, second highest in the state

What’s in the Bill?

  • Based off of 2011 Assembly Bill 426 that ultimately failed by one vote in the Senate
    • AB 426 received several public hearings in Madison, Milwaukee and Hurley
    • It received more public hearings than any single bill other than the State Budget
    • This is yet another hearing on a bill that has had significant public exposure
    • This bill does not issue a permit for any mine or mining company. It simply creates certainty in the permitting process by establishing a timetable for granting or denying a state mining permit.
    • Environmental protections remain intact. This bill simply creates a defined timeline for permit approval
    • This bill does nothing to affect federal environmental regulations.  The Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency still need to “sign off” before any mine is permitted

Why Now?

  • Wisconsin, like our neighbors in Michigan and Minnesota, has a long history of iron mining.  However, despite one of the largest iron ore deposits in the country, a new mine hasn’t been opened in Wisconsin in over 40 years
  • Michigan is reforming their mining tax structure to entice companies to start operations, many of these mines are right across the border in the Upper Peninsula.  Wisconsin is in a race for this development and the jobs associated with it.
  • The testing phase, before a permit can even be applied for, needs to start in the spring.  If we don’t pass a bill now, the process will be delayed another full year.
  • The last major mining reforms happened in 1998 and Wisconsin has been effectively closed to mining ever since

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