HELENA – Legislators, scientists and leaders of the outdoors industry were just some of the almost three dozen Montanans who traveled to Helena to voice their comments on a proposal to mine copper along a tributary of the Smith River.Read More
Last week’s purchase of the Stillwater Mining Company puts one more Montana mine in foreign hands. Fortunately, a citizen-crafted agreement will keep the new company from being environmentally irresponsible.
On May 4, the Stillwater Mining Company finalized about six months of negotiations and agreed to sell $2.2 billion worth of assets to Sibanye Gold Limited, a South African gold mining company. The buyout helped Stillwater transfer $500 million worth of debt it had accumulated since the 2008 recession.Read More
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has chosen the best way to finally close a Lewistown area mine, but Montana could once again be stuck with the bill.
On Friday, the DEQ published a final environmental report detailing requirements for the protection of water and soils as part of the proposed closure of the CR Kendall Mine in the North Moccasin Mountains in Fergus County. The problem is the mining company, ATNA Resources Ltd., declared bankruptcy five months ago.Read More
A Canadian company wants to mine the Treasure State, but the sites it wants to develop are next to another treasure: Yellowstone National Park. That’s raised concerns for some, especially those that live and work on the Yellowstone River.
For the next week, the Custer Gallatin National Forest and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality are requesting public input on a proposal to explore the gold deposits in the mountains southeast of Emigrant and Chico Hot Springs in the Paradise Valley.Read More
Montana is loaded with mining operations that have gone awry, leaving the state to deal with toxic waste and contaminated water. The copper mines of Butte and the Zortman-Landusky Mine near the Fort Belknap Reservation are two of the more egregious cases. But a small 1940s-era lead mine near Rogers Pass has its own notoriety.
In 1975, the Mike Horse Mine impoundment failed in the headwaters above Lincoln, causing 200,000 cubic yards of toxic waste to slide down the canyon and into the upper reach of the Blackfoot River. Four decades on, scientists still find traces of lead and zinc from the mine in the river, and fishermen complain that trout populations have not fully recovered.
For about the past decade, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Forest Service have worked in fits and starts to reclaim the Mike Horse Mine and the spill area below. This summer, the derelict impoundment is being demolished.
Read more in my story on the DEQ reclamation and the mine's history here.