The site of a proposed heavy mineral mine near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Caption
The site of a proposed heavy mineral mine near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday was considering whether to extend the public comment period for a proposal to mine for heavy minerals near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

 

The deadline is Monday. Several environmental groups have asked for an extension, in part because of the coronavirus.

 

But spokesman Billy Birdwell said the Corps had already gotten more than 15,000 fifteen comments as of Friday morning.

 

“So we think that the word has gotten out and there has been sufficient time for, for people to make those comments,” he said.

 

Birdwell said the rate of comments had been comparable to the original comment period for the project last year.

 

Earlier this year, mining company Twin Pines Minerals withdrew the application, then resubmitted an updated one. The new version calls for a smaller mining area for the first phase of the controversial project.

 

Opponents of the mine contend it would disrupt the swamp ecosystem and harm endangered species that rely on the Okefenokee.