Black Butte mine up for environmental review
Posted on 02 October 2017
Black Butte Copper takes next crucial step in developing mien
HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is in the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement under the Montana Environmental Policy Act for the Black Butte Copper Project proposed by Tintina Montana.
The environmental impact statement will analyze the potential impacts of the proposed underground mine and serve as the Montana Environmental Policy Ac on review for other potential permits that may be issued by DEQ, including an air quality permit, a public water supply permit and a surface water discharge permit. It also lays out how the mining operation proposed in Tintina’s application complies with the Metal Mine Reclamation Act.
“This environmental review will be extensive and we take it very seriously,” said Director Tom Livers. “It will be a complex environmental impact statement and public input is an important piece of the process.”
The first phase in preparing an environmental impact statement is to determine the scope. Montana is asking for comments from federal, tribal, state and local governments and interested persons and groups that help identify issues likely to involve significant impacts and possible alternatives to be considered in the environmental impact statement.
The scoping period will begin October 2, 2017, and end Thursday, November 16, 2017. The public scoping meetings will be held at the following locations, dates and times:
- Great Falls Civic Center, 2 Park Drive South, Great Falls, Montana, on Monday, October 30th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
- White Sulphur Springs High School Gymnasium, 405 South Central Avenue, White Sulphur Springs, Montana, on Wednesday, November 1st from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
- Park County High School Gymnasium, 102 View Vista Drive, Livingston, Montana, on Tuesday, November 7th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Under current law, the state has one year from the issuance of the more detailed compliance document to complete an Environmental Impact Statement. Montana has hired a contractor to assist in the preparation of the environmental impact statement.
Tintina Montana originally submitted its application for a mining permit in December 2015. DEQ responded to the application in March 2016, outlining the need for complete information on geochemical aspects and hydrology. Tintina provided follow-up information in September 2016 and DEQ issued a second deficiency response letter in December 2016. Tintina responded this May and DEQ issued a third deficiency letter with a response from Tintina in July. These responses provided DEQ complete information related to their geochemical testing and hydrologic modeling.
The permit application is available for the public to view at DEQ’s main office in Helena (1520 East 6th Avenue). The application may also be viewed by visiting DEQ’s website (http://deq.mt.gov/Land/hardrock/tintinamines).
Scoping comments may be submitted at one of the public meetings, electronically (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tintina Vice President, Jerry Zieg, was born and raised in White Sulphur Springs and grew up on the Smith River. In 1985, after earning his masters in geology from the University of Montana, Jerry and his exploration team discovered the Johnny Lee deposit.
Located north of White Sulphur Springs, the project’s property includes the Johnny Lee Deposit, which contains a copper concentration 10 times higher than many existing mines. The Black Butte Copper Project will be an underground mine. This means that traditional land uses such as agriculture, cattle grazing and outdoor recreation will continue, according to Tintina.
Tintina estimates that this project will bring at least 240 jobs to the area at an average salary of approximately $65,000 per year.