Badger Minerals won’t pursue further sulfide mining exploration at a site in eastern Oneida County, the company told WXPR. The site is near the Wolf River.
In June, the company drilled six holes at the site in the town of Schoepke, a first step to determining whether the area could be a good place for a sulfide mine. Profitable sulfide minerals include gold, silver, lead, zinc, and copper. Badger Minerals had the option to buy the land from a private landowner if the results looked promising.
But Badger Minerals geologist Eric Quigley told WXPR the results of the drilling program “were not considered significant enough to justify the purchase.”
In making the determination, Badger Minerals sent drill cores from hundreds of feet below the earth to be reviewed by geologists. Some sections were likely lab-analyzed to determine geochemistry and metal content.
Badger Minerals’ 24-hour drilling program at the site lasted from June 5 to July 1. It was the first mining-related exploratory drilling in Wisconsin since 2012, and the first in Oneida County since at least the 1980s.
In an email, Quigley said Badger Minerals’ decision not to pursue further exploration at the site shouldn’t be a surprise.
“The majority of exploration targets don’t progress into more advanced exploration,” he wrote. “It is rare to evaluate an exploration target which justifies additional testing, rarer still to have that same target turn into an advanced stage exploration project, and exceptionally rare for that target to turn into a project where the feasibility of actual mining is contemplated.“
Even so, Quigley wrote the company, a Michigan-based subsidiary of a Canadian company, is “still pursuing exploration opportunities within the area/region.”
He said, however, there are no immediate plans for additional drilling.