Shell mining firm seeks Tate’s Hell land

Sandy Mitchem

Sandy Mitchem

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 02:27 PM.

Gulf Coast Aggregates is seeking permission to extend their mining operations into Tate’s Hell State Forest.

At the county meeting on Tuesday morning, St. George Island realtor Sandy Mitchem asked commissioners for a letter to the state supporting a plan to extend fossil oyster shell mining operations onto state land.

Mitchem said the existing mine located on 165 acres of private land is about to play out. “Not only would it possibly help our bay, it would create a lot of jobs for all of us,” she said.

“If it will create jobs, I am for it,” she said.

She said the mining operation started with two employees and has now grown to a staff of 18 or 19, eight of whom are Franklin County residents.

Mitchem said the private land where the mine is located is surrounded by state land.

Commissioner Cheryl Sanders asked if the land in question was part of the Walnut Creek watershed and how many acres the mining company was seeking to use.

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