HURLEY, Wis. -

Most of the testimony at a public hearing is running against a plan to develop an iron ore mine in the Penokee Range of northern Wisconsin.

Gogebic Taconite is asking the state Department of Natural Resources for permission to remove 4,000 tons of rock from the site for testing. The company plans to use excavation equipment or explosives.

As of just before 4 p.m. Thursday, 76 people had testified at the hearing in the Hurley High School gym -- and only about a half-dozen spoke in favor.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports most of those testifying are individuals representing themselves. They are concerned about polluting the Bad River and Lake Superior watershed, and the possibility of asbestos-like fibers in the rock.

Mining industry and business groups are notably absent.