MADISON, Wis. -

A company looking to dig a huge open-pit iron mine near Mellen has asked state regulators for another exploratory drilling license.

Gogebic Taconite drilled eight test holes in the Penokee Hills last spring and summer. The license for that project expires June 30.

The state Department of Natural Resources announced Friday it has received an application for another exploratory license to cover a separate project that calls for drilling 15 more holes.

Ann Coakley is the DNR's waste and materials management program director. She said in a news release Friday the DNR will review the application. The agency has 10 days to approve or deny the request or ask the company for more information.