DEQ Seeks Public Comment and Announces Public Meeting on Developing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a Proposed Mine Amendment in Jefferson County
HELENA—The Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment to aid the development of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to analyze the potential environmental impacts from a proposed tailings reprocessing project at the Golden Sunlight Mine. The Golden Sunlight Mine is located approximately five miles northeast of Whitehall, Mont. in Jefferson County.
The project, an amendment to the current operating permit, would allow Golden Sunlight to excavate and reprocess tailings and extend the life of the mine by up to 12 years. Golden Sunlight would excavate tailings in Tailing Storage Facility 1 using conventional methods, move the material to a re-pulping plant, pump the slurried tailings to the flotation plant in the mill, and reprocess the tailings to extract a gold and sulfide concentrate. Approximately 26 million tons of tailings would be reprocessed and the remaining product would be disposed in an onsite pit. After excavation, the tailings facility footprint would be reclaimed for land uses such as grazing, recreation and wildlife habitat. All proposed activities would occur within the existing permitted disturbance boundary and would not include any new disturbance areas.
DEQ is currently in the “scoping” portion of the review process. The public has an opportunity to participate in this review process and to identify environmental issues associated with the project. DEQ is seeking comments from the public to identify potential impacts and possible alternatives to be considered. The comments will assist DEQ in determining what to study in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. DEQ will then draft an Environmental Impact Statement and provide an additional opportunity for public comment.
DEQ will accept public comments on the scope of the draft Environmental Impact Statement until the close of business on March 12, 2021. To submit comments or view the application documents, visit the DEQ website at: http://deq.mt.gov/Public/publiccomment
A public scoping meeting will be held on March 4, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The meeting will provide the public with information on the proposed project and an opportunity to submit oral comments. Due to concerns around COVID-19, the meeting will be hosted virtually on Zoom and accessible both online and by telephone.
What: A remote public hearing held via Zoom
When: Thursday, March 4, 2021, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. MST
Where: Participants can sign up to attend the meeting held via Zoom and receive instructions about how to access the meeting by registering at: https://goldensunlightscoping.eventbrite.com
The meeting is accessible both online and by telephone. DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities who wish to participate in the meeting. If you require an accommodation or would like to register by phone, please contact Moira Davin, Public Relations Specialist at: 406-461-2503 or by email at: Moira.Davin@mt.gov. Participants are asked to join the meeting ten minutes early to test their connection.