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Mar 13, 2012


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Herb Rolfes
Permitting and Compliance


DEQ Accepting Public Comments on Operating Permit for Noble Excavating, Inc.


Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting public comments on an application by Noble Excavating, Inc. for an operating permit under the Metal Mine Reclamation Act. The operating permit would authorize the quarrying of rock at the Nickelback Quarry located on private land approximately 2.5 miles northwest of Libby, MT in Lincoln County.

The operating permit would cover a total of 165 acres. About 85 acres would be disturbed over the next twenty years and about 150 acres would be disturbed over the life of mine, which is estimated to be about 80 years. Ground disturbance would range up to approximately 150 feet in depth. Noble would use heavy equipment to remove the metamorphic rock (mostly argillite) and gravel. Blasting would be required about two times per year. The rock could be used to produce gravel, asphalt, fill, and riprap.

Noble is currently operating at the site under a Small Miner Exclusion Statement. Noble must obtain an operating permit because it proposes to disturb more than the five acres allowed under the Small Miner’s Exclusion Statement.

The DEQ has prepared a draft expanded Checklist Environmental Assessment to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the proposed operation. Copies of the draft CEA can be obtained at DEQ offices at 1520 E. 6th Ave., in Helena, MT. The draft CEA is also posted on the DEQ web page: Comments on the draft CEA must be submitted to the DEQ by Friday March 30, 2012. Comments or requests for additional information on the proposed operation should be directed to Herb Rolfes, Operating Permit Section Supervisor, DEQ Environmental Management Bureau,P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901, phone (406) 444-3841 or e-mail at

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