WAUSAU – Metals like gold and copper that occur in sulfide ore bodies have not been mined in Wisconsin since the Flambeau mine shut down in 1997. Concerns over pollution related to that mine led to the state’s sulfide mining moratorium, which  was repealed in 2017 under a law passed by the Republican-controlled state Legislature. Now, a Canadian mining company has plans to begin exploratory drilling for copper and gold at sites in Taylor and Marathon counties, igniting new arguments on both sides of the mining debate.

At 10 a.m. Nov. 10, “Route 51” host Shereen Siewert welcomes Wisconsin River Alliance Water Advocates organizer Johnson Bridgwater and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Geology and Environmental Science Professor Dr. Robert Lodge to explain the science of mining for minerals. They’ll detail the environmental implications involved, the safeguards in place and explore the potential risks and benefits to the state.

“Route 51” is heard Fridays at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 101.3 & 91.9/Wausau, AM 930/Auburndale-Stevens Point, 99.1/Stevens Point, 100.9/Marshfield, 90.3/Park Falls, 89.1/Adams-Wisconsin Rapids, 89.9/Rhinelander-Eagle River, 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls and live streamed at wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. It is re-broadcast Fridays at 7 p.m. on 90.9/Wausau. Program archives are available at wpr.org/route51.