Mines Management, Inc. reported that the U.S. Forest Service has completed and issued the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Montanore Project. Based on the agency’s analyses of issues considered throughout the review process, the USFS is also issuing a Draft Record of Decision (RoD) indicating its intent to authorize the project.

Completion of the final EIS and draft RoD signal commencement of the final phase of the permitting process for Montanore, which is located in northwestern Montana.

“The publication of the final EIS is the culmination of 10 years of technical and environmental analysis, including the completion and distribution of two draft EISs and significant public input, all of which has been incorporated into the project plan,” said Glenn M. Dobbs, chairman and CEO. “In light of the Montanore Project’s original approvals in 1993, we are gratified the project is nearing conclusion of a prolonged process in which significant improvements have been made to the project’s environmental footprint, including mitigation to protect important water resources, wildlife and habitat. Development and operation of the Montanore mine will result in enhancements to habitat and wetlands which otherwise would be impossible in the absence of the project and which will contribute to, and protect, the recovery of local threatened and endangered species which have struggled to gain a foothold for decades.”

Montanore is an advanced stage exploration project; the deposit contains 81.5 million tons with average grades of 2.04 oz silver per ton and 0.74% copper. With publication of the final EIS and draft RoD, the project enters the final phase of agency authorization. Upon issuance of the final RoD by the USFS and Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the company will be authorized to commence activities for the project to prepare a bankable feasibility study for financing the capital construction of the mine.