2 Montana agencies advance copper mine project in Meagher County

Posted at 8:36 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 22:37:19-04

Two state agencies have issued rulings advancing the proposed Black Butte Copper mine project in Meagher County.

On Friday, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project.

The statement is designed to help the DEQ issue make decisions on permits based on air and water quality impacts. It is not a final decision on whether the project should move forward.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation also issues preliminary determinations on a Water Permit and Water Right Application.

According to DEQ, an analysis found that the mine could impact flow in nearby Coon Creek and that mine's operator, Tintina, must mitigate the potential impact. The DEQ proposed the company backfill more areas than with material that is difficult for water to flow through to minimize changes to the flow of ground water across certain areas.

The DEQ must still issue a final decision before the Tintina can move forward with the project. DEQ must wait at least 15 days after the publication of the EIS before issuing its decision.

You can read the final EIS on the DEQ's website .