Joint Mining Impact Committee archive

Please note: The finding aid documents linked here are in DRAFT form. Users should expect frequent updates in the coming months. New records will be added and existing records will be refined to improve the format and controlled vocabulary.

Finding Aid: Directory of documents (PDF, 382Kb) | Finding aid spreadsheet (Excel, 48kb) | Finding Aid spreadsheet (PDF, 382kb) – updated 2/15/2019

The Joint Mining Impact Committee (JMIC) was formed to represent Ashland and Iron Counties and the towns of Anderson and Morse in Wisconsin during the permitting process for a taconite mine proposed by mining company Gogebic Taconite (GTAC). The State of Wisconsin encouraged the four municipalities to work together to prepare agreements with GTAC, and together they formed the Joint Mining Impact Committee. [1]

The mine project exploration and permitting process lasted from 2009 to 2015, when GTAC withdrew from the project citing concerns with the cost of wetlands remediation and environmental regulations. GTAC closed its office in Hurley, Wisconsin, in February 2015 and withdrew its pre-application notice from the state in March 2015. [2] The Joint Mining Impact Committee was formed on <DATE> and discontinued its work on <DATE>. Members of the committee included:

  • Jeff Ehrhardt, town of Morse, chairman

The archive of documents now housed at the Mercer Public Library was donated by Jeff Ehrhardt, former chair of the JMIC. It contains public records of the committee; media reports, email threads, planning documents, copies of state statutes, and correspondence between GTAC and state and federal agencies; and documents, media reports, notes, and articles that touch on related subjects such as local control and other types of mining.

The Mercer Library currently does not plan to digitize the archive and make it available online. The library and volunteers are creating a finding aid to assist researchers in understanding the contents of the archive. The finding aid contains the following information about each document:

  • File number
  • Document number
  • Number of pages
  • Date – publication or creation date, if known
  • Author
  • Title
  • Short description of content
  • Publication or creation place
  • Subject headings

As of February 15, 2019, volunteers have cataloged approximately 300 documents, encompassing about 1,000 pages. There are thousands of additional documents in the archive to be cataloged, and the finding aids linked at the top of the page will be updated as more information is made available.

Requests for copies of small numbers of documents may be made to the Mercer Public Library by calling 715-476-2366. The archive shall be made available to researchers to view in person. We suggest that you call and make an appointment to view the archive when possible.

We also encourage you to send us feedback on the structure and information in this finding aid to help us create a record that is the most useful to those who are interested in understanding these documents. Please call the library at 715-476-2366 or email with your suggestions and questions.

Record name: Joint Mining Impact Committee archive

Accession Number: 2016.01

Record Group Name: Iron County Joint Mining Impact Committee records

Name of donor: Jeff Ehrhardt

Provenance: Donated to the Mercer Library Archives by Jeff Ehrhardt, who collected these records in the course of his work as a member of the Joint Mining Impact Committee.

Description of Records: Records contain information that was gathered regarding a proposed Gogebic Taconite mining project in the Penokee Range between Mellen and Upson, Wisconsin.

From the donor: “The information to be stored is a collection of documents including meeting notices, minutes and technical information that was gathered in preparation for dealing with Gogebic Taconite in negotiating local agreements between the company and the municipalities. The municipalities included Ashland and Iron Counties and the towns of Anderson and Morse.”

Size of archive: 4 banker boxes of documents, plus additional loose copies

Date received: November 2015


[1] Bence, “Iron and Ashland Communities Puzzle Over Local Mining Agreements.”

[2] Kaeding, “DNR Works To Wrap Up Scrapped GTAC Mine Project.”