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Timberline Announces USFS Approval for Butte Highlands Mine Haul Road

Timberline Resources Corporation announced today that the US Forest Service has released its Final Decision Notice on the Butte Highlands Mine haul road with a Finding of No Significant Impacts.

The decision authorizes material haulage by the Butte Highlands Joint Venture on USFS roads over either of two alternative routes and provides a route for mine support vehicles for the proposed underground gold mine. The USFS Final Decision Notice comes after a mandatory Federal objection period and response process during which objections to the Draft Decision Notice were reviewed.

In announcing his decision, District Ranger David Sabo noted, "Upon thorough review of the Butte Highlands Mine Haul Road Environmental Assessment ("EA") and Montana Department of Environmental Quality's ("MDEQ") Final Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for the Butte Highlands Joint Venture Mine, the effects of allowing BHJV to use either the west or north route is mitigated, allowing me to determine a Finding of No Significant Impacts for either route."

Kiran Patankar, Timberline's President and CEO, commented, "After a very lengthy and thorough process by the USFS, we are pleased with the final decision approving the Butte Highlands mine haul road. This Federal approval represents the last of three major permitting milestones required for development of the Butte Highlands gold mine. Together with the positive Record of Decision on the project EIS and the Final MPDES water discharge permit previously received from the MDEQ, all major permitting requirements have now been met."

BHJV's Plan of Operations proposed using the Highland Road (west) alternative for material haulage and the Highland Road (north) / Roosevelt Drive alternative for mine support vehicles. Initial road upgrade plans have been submitted to the USFS by Timberline's operating partner, Highland Mining. BHJV continues to evaluate mine development and processing scenarios at Butte Highlands in order to reduce the anticipated costs of production and improve project economics in the context of the prevailing low gold price environment.

Timberline owns a 50-percent carried-to-production interest in BHJV, which owns the Butte Highlands high-grade underground gold project. Timberline's joint venture partner is funding all mine development costs through to commercial production with Timberline's share of those costs to be repaid from proceeds of future mine production.


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