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Renville County Board of Commissioners approves hard rock mine permit for 40-acre site

OLIVIA -- The Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a conditional use permit for hard rock mining.

The commissioners approved on a unanimous vote a conditional use permit for a 40-acre site in sections 28 and 33 of Flora Township, according to Mark Erickson, director of environment and community development for Renville County.

Duininck Bros. Inc. of Prinsburg and the site's owner, Thomas Breitkreutz of Renville, requested the permit to allow hard rock mining operations there. The site is expected to remain in operation for 20 years, but the conditional use permit must be renewed after the first five years.

The rock outcrops on the site had been eyed for possible inclusion in a protective easement program overseen by the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District. There are endangered plants on rock outcrops adjacent to the site.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported that there are unique but not endangered plants on the proposed mine site.

The county planning commission had recommended approving the permit after a review found that the proposal was in compliance with all state and county regulations.

The site is outside the boundaries of the Wild and Scenic corridor of the Minnesota River, where hard rock mining is prohibited.

The conditional use permit includes restricting blasting at the site to four times a year, and specifies that trucks hauling aggregate from the site must abide by road weight limits.