U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte released the following statements in response to the announcement that reclamation work on the Troy Mine was being paused due to the state of Montana’s “bad actor” decision against Hecla Mining Company. The ruling has also put on hold two other long delayed mining projects: the Montanore Mine near Libby and the Rock Creek Mine near Noxon.
“It’s a disappointment that the Montanore and Rock Creek Mines continue to face roadblocks. And now the much needed reclamation work at the Troy Mine is being halted. These mines will provide high paying jobs and economic activity to Lincoln and Sanders Counties, and need to move forward,” said Daines.
“The Montanore and Rock Creek mining projects have been in development for decades. For the sake of Lincoln and Sanders counties and the good-paying Montana jobs these mines would create,” said Gianforte. “It’s time to resolve the litigation and get these projects back on track.”
The Montanore and Rock Creek projects produce two of only four world-class silver and copper deposits in the U.S.
The mines are projected to create hundreds of jobs in Lincoln and Sanders Counties as well as generate millions of dollars in salaries for workers and tax revenue for local government.
The vetting process began in the early 1990s for Rock Creek Project and 2001 for the Montanore project.
The Rock Creek project has met all federal requirements to operate as well requirements placed on the project by federal court rulings.
The Troy Mine began operating in 1981 before closing in 2012. Hecla began reclamation work on the mine in 2015 as required by state law.
Daines’ Work to Streamline Mining Permitting Process:
On June 6th 2017, Daines questioned U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell on the progress of the Montanore Mine project.
On September 7th 2017, Daines highlighted his concerns over the stalled mining projects in a letter to the U.S. Forest Service Chief.
On September 28th 2017, Daines sent Secretary Purdue and Secretary Zinke a letter, urging the Administration to prioritize the approval process for the Rock Creek and Montanore Mines.