Company wants to mine at edge of protected Okefenokee Swamp

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A company is seeking permits to mine minerals near the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp, a vast and unspoiled wilderness that’s home to the largest national wildlife refuge in the eastern U.S.

The Army Corps of Engineers issued a public notice Friday that Twin Pines Minerals LLC of Birmingham, Alabama, wants to mine titanium dioxide less than 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near the Georgia-Florida state line.

The proposal comes 20 years after chemical giant DuPont abandoned a similar mining plan amid staunch opposition.

Charles McMillan of the Georgia Conservancy said Tuesday that he’s concerned mining could harm the Okefenokee’s “tremendous, unique ecological value.”

Twin Pines Minerals President Steve Ingle said his company’s plan is “more environmentally friendly and efficient” than DuPont’s proposal from the 1990s.

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