Committee Checks On Reopening Mining In Oneida Co.

Aug 6, 2014


An Oneida county committee is asking the county's lawyer whether they can listen to overtures from a mining company about exploring zinc and other minerals in the town of Lynne.

In August of 2012, the county board passed a resolution ending interest in mining following many years of often passionate debate.. Recently an engineer, John Prochnau from Carolina Gold Resources, wrote to say he would be interested in talking about the Lynne site. When the county Forestry committee put this development on the agenda, it brought back a full house and many emotions from years of meetings on the county-owned property about one mile from the Willow Flowage.

The committee voted twice, 3-2,  to continue with proceedings. Town of Lynne supervisor Alan Van Raalte said because  the board rejected mining two years ago, it was improper to bring it up. His motion to take it off the agenda was rejected. Then an hour-long discussion ensued resembling meetings from two years ago.

Mining opponent Karl Fate said the prior county board shut out several opportunities to learn more about the dangers of mining..

"....we have no reason to believe that if we go through this again that we won't see that same thing. We want the information. We we're calling for hearings for years. We called for open, public debate, and we were told no...."

Sorenson reflected the wishes of at least two other committee members when said he simply wanted to hear from the company...

"...I'm personally a person who likes to listen to people. I'll listen to all of you. I'd like to listen to this gentleman also..."

Several members of the audience felt the committee was going against the prior board's wishes. Supervisor Bob Mott offered a motion to ask Corporation Counsel Brian Desmond if this board would be proper to invite the company to hear a presentation, which passed 3-2.