Barr worked with Lehmann Exploration Management and, following an ownership transition, Franconia Minerals Corporation to develop the Birch Lake deposit (including the Birch Lake site and Maturi site) near Babbitt, Minnesota. We began working on this deposit in 2001 by collecting baseline data to support project advancement.
In 2005, Barr’s team developed a draft Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for collecting a bulk sample, which was submitted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. A number of environmental studies were undertaken to prepare the EAW.
Environmental activities conducted in support of the EAW and proposed project included work with state agencies on the scope of work for mine-waste characterization; hydrogeologic investigations; noise monitoring at the Maturi site; a parks and recreation resources inventory; sensitive species surveys; surface-water monitoring; a wetland delineation and functional assessment; a wetland replacement plan for pilot shaft; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit applications for pilot shaft and drilling; obtaining wetland banking credits; a wildlife and lynx assessment; a wild rice study; cultural resources consideration; plans for road upgrade; and a public presentation.
In early 2007, Franconia hired Barr to complete an expedited Phase I environmental site assessment of the 1,600-acre Dunka property near Babbitt. To expedite the ESA, Barr made intentional deviations from ASTM Practice E 1527-05. The assessment involved a records review, site reconnaissance, interviews, and reporting. The goal of the assessment was to develop a big-picture view of the possible environmental liabilities associated with the purchase of the Dunka property.