Sandfire Resources America, Inc. recently announced that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MT DEQ) has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) charting the final permitting steps for its 100%-owned underground Black Butte Copper Project.
For a 60-day period beginning March 11th, 2019 and ending May 10th, 2019, the Draft EIS will be kept open for public comment.
After the Draft EIS public comment period, the MT DEQ will react to comments and issue a final EIS. Then DEQ can issue a Record of Decision (ROD) and Mine Operating Permit for the Black Butte Project, possibly as early as the Q3 of 2019.
The projected showcase underground mine is intended to provide economic prospect to Central Montana while completely protecting the Smith River Watershed.
The issuing of the Draft EIS is the outcome of three years and four months of meticulous effort by the company, its consulting technical experts, and the MT DEQ to prepare a suitable design and permit to deliver an advanced, environmentally responsible mine development project.
The company has also finished a DRAFT Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, secured a Draft Air Quality Permit and a concluded Hard Rock Mining Impact Plan—all required by the MT DEQ for integration into the final Record of Decision (ROD). A Section 404 Permit has also been issued in compliance with the Clean Water Act and is the only federal permit necessary in the permitting process for the Black Butte Copper Project.
The MT DEQ reckoned Black Butte Project’s Mine Operating Permit Application (MOP) Complete and Compliant on August 14th, 2017 and the company was given a Draft Operating Permit on September 19th, 2017.
The completion of the Draft EIS represents another key step towards development of a state-of-the-art underground mining operation at Black Butte which will set new standards for mine developments globally. We encourage all stakeholders to review the Draft EIS and see first-hand the level of care and diligence which has been applied to our project to ensure that it meets or exceeds Montana’s strict environmental standards.
Rob Scargill, CEO and VP Project Development, Sandfire Resources America.
We continue with our commitment to bringing this extraordinary project to fruition while protecting our pristine environment and providing economic opportunities for our local Meagher County community and the State of Montana. We have always remained focused on building a showcase underground mine that is operated safely and incorporates world-class environmental standards and world-leading technologies, followed by complete reclamation returning all lands back to their original uses.
Jerry Zieg, Senior Vice President, Sandfire Resources America.