MADISON, Wis. -

Gov. Scott Walker said he is confident that mining company Gogebic Taconite will return to Wisconsin if the Legislature passes a bill making it easier for them to open an iron ore mine.

Walker made his comments Wednesday after a speech at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which has advocated for passage of a mining bill.

The Legislature could not reach agreement on a mining bill last year. Walker drew applause at his speech when he mentioned the need to pass a bill, saying it would bring thousands of jobs to northern Wisconsin where the mine would be located.

Florida-based Gogebic said it was giving up on the mine after the bill failed. But Walker said he thinks it

would come back if a bill similar to last year's passes.