DNR taking over project to drain water from mine pitby Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio
Bovey, Minn. — The Minnesota DNR has taken over a project to begin draining rising waters from an Iron Range mine pit that threatens to flood the town of Bovey.
Commissioner Mark Holsten sent notice to the Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board, that the DNR is taking over the project, and its funding, and will create a waterway to the Prairie River that should lower the water level in the old mine pit.
DNR Northeastern Regional Director Craig Engwall said a request for proposals will go out next week, but construction won't begin for a year.
"Another construction season will go by before the actual fix to the pit will happen," Engwall said. "What's happening right now, and in fact I think that the RFP will be published on Tuesday, we are going forward with the drain tile system that will alleviate the ground water problem for those residents who are by the pit."
High ground water levels have caused year-round flooding in some basements near the pit. The DNR and the Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board have debated several years the best plan to lower the pit water.