Mining Firm May Get OK to Drill in Forest Conservation Officials to Weigh Request

By Tom Uhlenbrock Of The Post-Dispatch | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 29, 1997 | Go to article overview

Mining Firm May Get OK to Drill in Forest Conservation Officials to Weigh Request


Tom Uhlenbrock Of The Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The supervisor of the Mark Twain National Forest in southeast Missouri says he may allow a lead mining company to drill exploratory holes in the national forest, with restrictions.

Randy Moore of the U.S. Forest Service said he is leaning toward appr oval of a request by Doe Run Co. to drill for lead in the area north of the Eleven Point National Scenic River.

Doe Run also has asked commissioners of the Missouri Department of Conservation for permission to drill in state forests near the Current and Jacks Fork rivers in the Ozarks. The commissioners will consider that request Friday at their meeting in Stockton. They are believed to be split 2-2 on the issue. A tie vote would be a rejection. While there is no clear mandate for the state to provide mineral exploration on its lands, supervisors of national forests do consider such requests. In 1992, Doe Run won a 9-year legal battle and was allowed to drill exploratory holes in the national forest south of Winona. The company pulled out its rigs after apparently failing to find high-grade ore. The company allowed that lease to expire, and now has applied for permits to drill about 200 exploratory holes on up to 7,970 acres of the forest in Shannon and Oregon counties, between Winona and Alton, Mo. Moore acted on that request this week, and said 1,130 acres would be excluded because of aesthetics, steep slopes, threatened and endangered species and water-quality concerns. Also, he said drill rigs would be wrapped in a special white batting to minimize the potential for oil and waste spills, and drilling would cease if the drillers hit a cavity, an underground opening that might allow contaminants to seep into groundwater. …

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