Montanore mine near Cabinet Mountains Wilderness gets partial approval

Southern Cabinet Mountains, as seen from Swede Mountain, near Libby
Southern Cabinet Mountains, as seen from Swede Mountain, near Libby

As expected, the proposed Montanore mine near the edge of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness received only partial approval from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality . . .

Montana environmental regulators granted conditional approval Friday to a long-stalled silver and copper mine proposed beneath a federal wilderness area, saying the developer must show before mining can proceed that the $500 million project won’t drain overlying creeks.

Department of Environmental Quality Director Tom Livers said the agency was approving an air quality permit and a transmission line that would connect to the Montanore mine. Yet that leaves its operating permit still in question, drawing a backlash from Republicans in the state’s Congressional delegation who urged full approval.

Developer Mines Management, Inc. pledged to move forward despite the state’s concerns over water supplies in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.

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