Gold Exploration Expands in Northern Minnesota
One of the world’s biggest gold mining companies will likely soon be expanding its exploration efforts for the precious metal in northern Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources posted the South African-based company’s proposal on the agency’s website.
AngloGold Ashanti Minnesota (AGAM) proposes to explore for metallic mineral deposits by drilling this fall and winter. AGAM plans to drill exploratory borings at 26 sites in northeastern Itasca County, MN. The exploration areas are about 7 miles west and about 4 miles south of Togo, Minnesota. AGAM submitted an Exploration Plan to the DNR for review on September 7, 2018.
AGAM will use a rotosonic drilling method. Rotosonic drilling uses high frequency vibration of the drill bit to advance and collect cores of soils, glacial sediments, and a short length of the underlying bedrock. The borings will end after drilling a short distance into the bedrock and then be permanently sealed, according to the exploration plan.
The DNR has up to 20 days to review the project, just the latest of several gold exploration initiatives underway in Minnesota involving AGAM and other companies.
Pending DNR approval, AGAM will have the right to explore on state-owned lands consistent with the exploration plan, any stipulations, and applicable laws and rules. AGAM will coordinate with the Itasca County Land Department, Molpus/Meriwether Minnesota Land, as well as any other affected private landowners for access to tax-forfeited and private lands.
The DNR website lists nearly 30 other mineral exploration projects approved by state regulators since 2013. Center of the American Experiment’s new report, “Unearthing Prosperity: How Environmentally Responsible Mining Will Boost Minnesota’s Economy,” conservatively estimates developing our state’s world-class mineral resources will add $3.7 billion to our economy each year, support more than 1,900 mining jobs and 6,566 indirect and induced jobs, with total wages of $635 million, and generate nearly $198 million in tax dollars for state and local governments.