PENOBSCOT COUNTY — The Wolfden Resources mining company is looking for rezoning approval for a project near Baxter State Park, but the Natural Resources Council of Maine said the proposal has flaws.
The new proposed rezone is for a metal mining project on 528 acres of land called the Pickett Mountain Project.
In recent weeks, the Land Use Planning Commission marked the petition as complete and after a thorough review from the commission, it could be approved.
“You certainly shouldn’t be allowed to set up a mine near Baxter State Park and the North Woods and Waters National Monument, these are very valuable areas to the people of Maine,” said Natural Resources Council of Maine Staff Scientist Nick Bennett.
Bennett said Wolfden Resources has not been honest with the council on various issues, including the proof of proper water treatment issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“If they were to put in a mine as they propose and can’t treat their wastewater to natural background levels, that would be a disaster,” said Bennett.
The company has been sampling in the area for a few years and in a release, Wolfden claims the project is one of the highest grade polymetallic projects in North America.
“Although Maine has the toughest mining laws in the country, but if you’re just going to go out and do some sampling for drilling, that’s not hard to get a permit for,” said Bennett.
If Wolfden receives rezoning approval, the company would then need to complete a mining permit application, which Wolfden Resources CEO and President tRon Little said is the most difficult part of the procedure.
The council also points to a lack of success in the company’s history.
“Going bankrupt and then leaving it to the public to fill the bill for the cleanup, which could sometime be hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Bennett.