Gov. Paul LePage has signed a mining regulatory bill, but that doesn't mean mining is new in Maine. In fact, it has a long history in the state going back to the 1800s.
The measure begins an overhaul of decades-old state mining regulations that won't be complete until 2014. The law was prompted by renewed interest in mining gold, silver, copper and other metals in Aroostook County's Bald Mountain.
State Geologist Robert Marvinney says there are no active metallic mining operations in Maine now. The most recent included a zinc-copper open pit mine in Brooksville, which later became a federal Superfund cleanup site, and an underground operation in Blue Hill. They operated in the 1960s and '70s.Environmental groups are leery of the new mining overhaul law.