Mines Management Updates Permitting Activities at the Montanore Project
Mines Management Inc. report that the public comment period for the re-permitting process for the Company’s Montanore Silver-Copper Project concluded on June 29, 2009. The 120-day period began upon completion of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”), and allowed the public to review the Draft EIS and provide comments to the governmental agencies overseeing the re-permitting process.
Mr. Glenn M. Dobbs, the Company’s President and CEO, commented, “Completion of the public comment period marks the conclusion of an important step in the process to re-permit the Montanore Silver-Copper Project, and significant advancement through the final stage of activities toward completion of the Final EIS. We began the process to re-permit the Montanore in 2005, and have been gratified with both the support we have received from the community in the vicinity of the proposed mine, and the substantial work conducted by all those involved in the environmental review process. We look forward to completing the remaining steps required for final permitting of mining activities.”
The remaining steps in the process include the selection of preferred alternatives, a biological assessment, and drafting and editing of the Final EIS document, which would be followed by the issuance of a Record of Decision.
The Montanore was originally discovered and explored in the 1980’s, received mining and environmental approval, and advanced through preliminary engineering during the 1990’s. The previous operators transferred the project to Mines Management, Inc., in accordance with their lease agreement in 2002, near the bottom of the metals market.
Since then, Mines Management has assembled land holdings, conducted significant engineering activities, engaged in the re-permitting process, and initiated preparations to complete the underground exploration program, including construction of surface facilities and site infrastructure, and other activities totaling more than $40 million.
With approximately 50,000 feet of diamond core drilling planned from underground, data from the exploration program would be used to support completion of detailed engineering and a feasibility study, which is necessary to raise the capital needed to construct the mine.
The Montanore project is similar to other silver-copper projects in the region, and is designed to be an underground silver and copper mine that would utilize bulk mining methods and conventional crushing and flotation processes to produce a copper-silver concentrate that would be sold to an offsite smelting facility. If approval is received and the project is developed successfully proposed, the project is expected to employ approximately 400 workers when in operation, with targeted production of approximately 8 million ounces of silver and 60 million pounds of copper annually.