Midas Gold Corp. (TSX: MAX) (OTCQX: MDRPF) today announced that the United States Forest Service ("U.S. Forest Service") has begun its analysis, under the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), of Midas Gold Idaho, Inc.'s proposed plan of restoration and operations ("PRO") for the Stibnite Gold Project in Valley County, Idaho. The U.S. Forest Service stated that it expects to produce a draft Record of Decision in 2018 and a final Record of Decision in the first quarter of 2019.
"After years of planning and working with the communities of Valley County, we are confident in the plan of restoration and operations we submitted to the U.S. Forest Service," said, Laurel Sayer, President and CEO of Midas Gold Idaho, Inc. "Our approach to designing the plan, where the environment and mining can work together to restore an abandoned historic mine site and provide economic opportunity, sets the Stibnite Gold Project apart. The timeline and process outlined by the U.S. Forest Service ensures that every detail and standard of the NEPA regulatory review process is followed while also incorporating the views and input of interested and affected parties and the public."
U.S. Forest Service officials have created a website (http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/payette/StibniteGold) for the Stibnite Gold Project, where interested parties may find information, review the PRO, follow the process and submit comments. Interested and affected parties may comment during the public scoping period (anticipated to occur in Q2 2017) and again on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which is anticipated to be published in Q1 2018. As required by NEPA, the U.S. Forest Service will announce comment periods by publishing a Notice of Intent or Notice of Availability, as applicable, in the Federal Register.
"This announcement by the U.S. Forest Service signals the beginning of the official regulatory review process for the Stibnite Gold Project and indicates that we can expect a timely process and decision," said Stephen Quin, President and CEO of Midas Gold Corp. "Under the leadership of the U.S. Forest Service, we are committed to ensuring that our project receives a thorough, fair and timely evaluation, with ample opportunity for interested parties to get involved in the review process. We look forward to working with the regulators, interested and affected parties, and the public to finalize a plan to restore the site and bring economic benefits to Valley County and Idaho."
The next step in the permitting process is for the U.S. Forest Service to publish a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register and launch the 30-day public scoping period.
In September 2016, Midas Gold Idaho, Inc. submitted the PRO for the restoration, re-development and operation of the Stibnite Gold Project in Valley County, Idaho. The PRO was deemed administratively complete by the U.S. Forest Service in December 2016.