The Montanore Mine near the Cabinet Mountains wilderness area has a new owner, but no change in plans to develop the mine . . .
The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-based company that purchased its second major mine project in Northwest Montana within a year has vowed to continue exploration development of both the Rock Creek and Montanore mines.
Supporters of the proposed copper and silver mines say the development of either would be a boon to the struggling local economy, which has one of the highest jobless rates in the state. But environmental groups worry about the impacts the mines will have on the wilderness above, saying the projects could dewater mountain streams for centuries.
On May 24, Hecla Mining Company announced it was acquiring Spokane-based Mines Management, which has been trying to permit the Montanore Mine south of Libby for more than a decade. In the proposed deal, Mines Management shareholders will be paid in Hecla stock.