COOS COUNTY Over the concerns of some South Coast residents, Coos County will allow a subsidiary of an Australia-based mining company to begin mining one of the few chromite reserves in the Western Hemisphere. Oregon Resources has already started excavating chromite, which is used to create the metal chromium, from a site near Bandon as part of a pilot program. Should the company receive state and federal environmental and resources permits for the full project, it would expand work to four other locations on 2,000 acres of forestland owned by Oregon Resources and Weyerhaeuser. Also proposed is a refinery at a dock site near Coos Bay. Traffic — estimated at six trucks a minute, day and night — between the mines and the plant has drawn the biggest outcry. Concerns that mining will lower or pollute the water table have also angered county residents.
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