Press "Enter" to skip to content

Maine refuses corruptive mining proposal

The Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) opposed a petition to mine for metal at Pickett Mountain, located within the Katahdin region. They came to an official verdict on Feb. 14 in consideration of the environmental threat the project would pose. Over 1,000 residents across the state, including Wabanaki tribal members, local business owners and conservationists, have protested against an initiative to rezone 374 acres of land north of Patten. 

Metallic mining is the extraction of underground ores, such as silver, iron, copper and lead. At an industrial scale, removing these minerals from the Earth is highly invasive and harmful to organisms at or around the digging location. 

If preventative measures are not taken, acidic waters and toxic gas emissions will spread unmanageably throughout the area. Mining pollution endangers the health of plants, animals and humans. Maine has the strictest mining regulations in the United States. Open-pit mining is prohibited in all state parks. 

Wolfden Resources Corporation submitted an application involving the development of a mine in close proximity to both Baxter State Park as well as Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The nearby channels are inhabited by Brook Trout, a Maine State Heritage fish with waters protected by law. 

The Wolfden Resources website claims to have the means to conduct mining efforts without harming the environment. There is no evidence to verify the notion that the company is capable of mining without prompting ecological ramifications.  

“The proposed purpose of the D-PD rezoning is to allow for the construction, operation and reclamation of a state-of-the-art, small-footprint underground metallic mineral mine in a manner that is fully protective of the environment,” says Wolfden.

According to a press release by the Natural Resource Council of Maine (NRCM), Wolfden Resources has insufficient finances and, therefore, cannot access the technology needed to execute its proposed plan in an environmentally conscious manner. The company is also inexperienced, having never been granted permission to rezone in Maine. 

The corporation’s guarantee was disproved by resource specialists and mining experts. Streams, lakes and other waterways suffer chemical contamination as a direct result of mining pollution. Furthermore, excavation efforts would disrupt outdoor recreation, which is significant to the economy in Maine. 

Not only has the organization issued empty promises regarding pollution, but its CEO, Ron Little, has also made a series of fictitious public statements, the majority of which reference misconstrued mining regulations and illegitimate governmental approval. Little has also insulted the indigenous population in Maine, insinuating that they have no legal rights over the land. 

“As Indigenous people, we are keenly familiar with the process of being misled and lied to by corporations…We can see that any economic benefit of mining in Patten would be short-lived and far outweighed by the environmental consequences that would reverberate throughout the state,” Mali Obomsawin from Old Town told NRCM.

LUPC took all of these aspects into account to reach its final decision. Despite Wolfden’s assertion, the commission looked to state legislation and the conviction of concerned Mainers.

Get the Maine Campus' weekly highlights right to your inbox!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...