A mining company has applied for an exploratory license to begin the process of opening an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin near Lake Superior.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said Gogebic Taconite submitted the application on Thursday.
DNR Waste and Materials Management Program director Ann Coakley said a decision on granting the application will be made within 10 business days as required by the new law passed by the Legislature in March.
If Gogebic obtains a state permit it still must receive federal approval for the mine since it would affect federal wetlands. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that permit process could take up to four years.
Supporters of the mine say it will create jobs while opponents say it will harm the environment.