Feb 13, 2024 - News

Hearing set for proposed mine near Okefenokee Swamp

okefenokee swamp

Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

Georgia environmental officials will host a public hearing next month on draft permits for a controversial mine near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge's eastern edge.

Why it matters: Opponents say Twin Pines Minerals LLC's proposed titanium and zirconium mine threatens the ecosystem of the 640-square-mile swamp in southeast Georgia.

  • The Okefenokee is the largest blackwater wetland in North America.

The latest: Georgia Environmental Protection Division's hearing will be at 6pm on March 5 on Zoom.

Zoom in: The proposed mine would sit on 582 acres of land a few miles from the swamp in an area known as Trail Ridge.

  • The company has vowed to restore the area to "pre-mined surface contours" and replace topsoil and native plants after building, but opponents and some scientists fear the damage a mine could do to the hydrology of the swamp and its ecosystem, Axios' Emma Hurt previously reported.
  • It also wants to pump 1.44 million gallons of groundwater a day from the underlying aquifer, the AJC reports. Wastewater would be released as steam.

Be smart: You can view the proposed plan online and submit comments on the proposal to [email protected].

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