Residents Warn Against Proposed Marathon County Mine

A new Canadian corporation called Green Light Metals came into Marathon County seeking to create a massive open-pit gold mine 450 feet deep. Others have looked into this before but abandoned the terrible idea and moved on. Here we go again.

This new foreign corporation is only 2 years old, yet they are trying to persuade the Marathon County Board of Supervisors and the DNR that they have the exceptional skills to pull this off without polluting our precious ground water, to say nothing of the nearby Eau Claire River and further downstream Lake Wausau. The water table is high as it flows through the abundant acres they want to destroy just a little downstream from the beautiful Dells of the Eau Claire River.

Green Light Metals is counting on the people of Marathon County — including our elected leaders — to be naïve and short-sighted as they dangle their bag of promises before us. Here is a key question we and our elected officials should ask:

Has there ever been a community anywhere that is proud of the gaping hole and toxic slag heaps that ooze unstoppable poisons after the distant owners of a massive mine have taken what they wanted and left the country?

Inevitably there will be downstream deadly toxins seeping and flowing, some for centuries. And typically these international mining companies change names and ownership numerous times in the out years, maybe even declaring bankruptcy after the owners’ pockets are lined with gold. The point is there will be no accountability and we the people of Marathon County will be left with the tragic legacy. Our grandchildren will wonder, “What the hell were they thinking?”

If we are going to attract young people and new businesses to our area, we must be able to demonstrate a keen commitment to the quality of life here. Otherwise they’ll go somewhere else that does.

There’s no likely moment to “Just Say No” once they’ve started to dig the hole.