Ontario-based Wolfden Resources Corp.’s plan to purchase Pickett Mountain, which is located north of Patten, comes three months after lawmakers passed a sweeping overhaul of Maine’s mining regulations.
AUGUSTA — A Canadian mining company plans to buy nearly 7,000 acres in northern Maine to explore for deposits of copper, silver and other minerals in what could be the first major mining project since lawmakers overhauled state environmental regulations.
Wolfden Resources Corp., which is based in Thunder Bay, Ontario, announced Thursday a purchase-and-sale agreement to buy the 6,871 acres of timberland and accompanying mineral rights on Pickett Mountain for $8.5 million. Located north of Patten along the border of Penobscot and Aroostook counties, Pickett Mountain was first listed as the site of a sizable mineral ore deposit – known as the “Mount Chase deposit” – nearly 40 years ago but has never been mined commercially.
Company officials said they believe the Pickett Mountain site holds one of North America’s “highest-grade undeveloped” deposits of the type of sulfide ore that yields copper, zinc, silver and other metals.
Yet the mountain’s proximity to the newly established Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument – parts of which are just 5 miles away – and to Baxter State Park would trigger close scrutiny from conservation groups and local residents should the company attempt to mine the site.
“I’m very familiar with that whole area back there. It’s so beautiful and scenic,” said Katahdin Lodge co-owner Chuck Loucka, whose Moro Plantation business catering to outdoor enthusiasts is located a few miles from Pickett Mountain. “I’d hate to see it spoiled in any way.”
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