On August 14, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a final approval for the Phase 1 bonding for the underground Black Butte Copper project in Montana, according to Sandfire Resources America. The Montana DEQ also issued a final mine operating permit, which will allow the company to begin development of Phase 1 at the mine site.

Sandfire Resources posted a US$4.65 million surety bond for the project. The issuance of the permit is the result of the company meeting all the requirements of the project record of decision published on April 9.

The company has signed a construction contract for the commencement of surface earthworks with MK Weeden, a Lewistown, Montana company. In addition, it has signed a fencing contract with Menard Construction Inc. These two contractors will employ up to 30 Montanans on the early earthworks project this year, the company said.

“Putting local Montana companies to work has always been an important company goal and now, more than ever, it will help with the economic recovery as we continue to deal with COVID-19 pandemic,” Sandfire America CEO and Vice President of Project Development Rob Scargill said. “Strength in the natural resources sector is crucial to creating lasting opportunities for the people of Montana.”

The feasibility study is expected to be published in the September quarter of 2020.