Digging for gold in Marathon County - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Digging for gold in Marathon County

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- A group of miners said they've struck gold in Marathon County and it could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Geologists with Aquila Resources spent the summer drilling 22 holes in the town of Easton, just east of Wausau.

There are just more than 1,000 people in the town of Easton. But if you dig a little deeper, there could be millions of dollars worth of buried treasure.

"We know there's gold there," said Aquila community outreach director Paul Herder. "We're trying to determine how much and how concentrated it is."

"We had read articles on it a few years back even," said David Arends, who live in the town of Easton. "It was non-viable at that time to go after the minerals. They just kind of left it alone and another company came in."

Aquila miners have been hard at work at the Marathon County site, digging for samples of precious metals hundreds of feet under ground. Orange posts mark the spots they've analyzed already, a project the company will continue once the ground freezes in January.

"It's a risky business and it's very expensive to explore, to drill," said Herder. "Right now, they feel it's worth investing further."

Even though Aquila doesn't own the property, it negotiated with the land owners for the rights to do the exploration. Company officials said it's still too soon to tell if there will be enough gold to make the investment worthwhile or how much profit they could turn. And if Aquila decides to move forward, it would still be years before any actual mining starts.

"We're talking seven to fifteen years for the DNR to go through the plan and review process to actually issue the permit to mine," said Stephanie Finamore, who works as the environmental director for Central Wisconsin Engineers. "It's not something that's going to happen overnight."

Whether the company decides the plan will work out, the opportunity remains -- right below the surface.

Statistically, only about one in every thousand sites that drillers explore actually turn into an excavation site. But Aquila representatives said the chances for this site are higher because of the extensive research that's already been done on the property.

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