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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 01, 2013

 

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Lisa Peterson
Director's Office
406-444-2929

 

DEQ Invites the Public to Comment on Draft EIS for Proposed Garnet Mine

 

Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a meeting to gather comments from the public on an application by Garnet USA for an open pit industrial garnet mine at the Red Wash Hard Rock Site located in Madison County approximately 4.5 miles southeast of Alder, Montana.

DEQ has completed a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that will discuss the potential impacts of the proposed mine. The meeting will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at the Alder Community Hall (Fire Department) in Alder on Upper Ruby Road between 1st Street and Judy Lane. At the scoping meeting, DEQ staff will explain the environmental review process and take comments.

The DEQ analyzed three alternative proposals, including a No-Action Alternative. DEQ’s preferred proposal is the Agency-Mitigated Alternative. It modifies the original proposed action by adding more groundwater monitoring to provide better information about current and future water quality conditions. This Alternative also provides for an altered route for ore haul trucks to reduce potential traffic conflicts.

Comments must be received by Thursday, October 31, 2013. Written comments can be sent to Jeffrey Herrick, DEQ Director’s Office, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901 or electronically to garnetusacomments@mt.gov. The Draft EIS and Garnet USA’s operating permit application and can be viewed at www.deq.mt.gov. Questions on the proposed project may be directed to Jeffrey Herrick at jherrick@mt.gov or (406) 444-3276.

The DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for persons with a disability that may interfere with their ability to participate in the scoping meetings or public comment process. Accommodations can be arranged by contacting Lisa Peterson at 406-444-2929 or lpeterson@mt.gov.

Summary of the Red Wash Hard Rock Site Project

Garnet USA currently has an operating permit for a processing facility and mining of nearby dredge tails and an additional placer mine site (Red Wash Alluvial Mine Site). The Red Wash Hard Rock Site Project proposed by the company in its application would authorize an open pit garnet mine located approximately 4.5 miles southeast of the processing facility on land owned by the company. Highway 287, Anderson Lane and ranch roads would be used to access the site. Ore from the new mine site would be hauled on the same road used under the existing operating permit. The garnet concentration in the ore at the Red Wash Hard Rock site is expected to be a higher concentration than the ore from the Red Wash Alluvial Mine Site. The estimated life of this mine site is 37 years producing 50,000 tons of industrial garnet output per year.

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