The Georgia Recorder will report from South Georgia this week on reactions from the community, environmental groups and mining company officials on plans to extract materials for titanium manufacturing near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
The first of two public meetings this week is set for Tuesday night in southeast Georgia when Twin Pines Minerals will detail plans to mine roughly 2,400 acres in the first phase of a 12,000 acre project. The proposal is drawing some comparisons to a larger mining plan from 20 years ago that was nixed after public outrage.
Some environmental agencies are raising concerns about the substantial ecological harm that Twin Pines’ mining might cause so close to the Okefenokee.
The first meeting, hosted by Twin Pines and the Charlton County Commission, is set to take place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the county’s government building at 68 Kingsland Drive in Folkston.
Another meeting is scheduled during the same hours on Wednesday in St. George at 13063 Florida Ave.
The U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers Savannah district will ultimately decide if Twin Pines’ permit is approved. The public can submit comments to the agency by email through Sept. 12 at [email protected]
Twin Pines wants to strip-mine titanium near the wetlands located by the Georgia-Florida border. The refuge is home to more than 600 plant species as well as rare animals like indigo snakes, gopher tortoises and wood storks.
The Okefenokee Swamp is also the headwater to the St. Marys River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean, and the Suwannee River that lets out in the Gulf of Mexico.