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Mining Concerns In Josephine County

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — State legislation being pushed by Ashland State Senator Alan Bates may have a big impact on many in Josephine County.

The anti-dredge legislation has a quarter mile boundary rule attached to it. County Commissioner Simon Hare warned that rule could have wide ranging impacts on land use issues.

Monday, a state geologist spoke about the potential mineral wealth in Josephine County. He reviewed the county’s rich mining history, and says a lot more is still underground, including minerals such as tellurium, that could be a big player in the solar industry.

“It’s valuable enough that if you’ve got a producing mine with that in it, you’re gonna set it aside and sell it. So, so it’s not like pyrite where have a problem with acid mine drainage,” said State Geologist Tom Wylie.

The Josephine County Mining Advisory Committee was formed by Josephine County Commissioners to investigate what mineral resources are still untapped and legislation that could impact the industry.