Environmental assessment complete for Lucky Minerals Exploration Project

DEQ requires additional mitigations in response to issues raised

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality released a Final Environmental Assessment today for a proposed mineral exploration project 12 miles southeast of Emigrant.
The EA analyzes potential environmental impacts from exploration activity on private patented mining claims known as the St. Julian Claim Block in the Absaroka Mountains. 
Lucky Minerals is proposing to obtain core samples from up to 46 drill holes located on 23 drill pads. The proposed drill pads would be located within the existing road network on the St. Julian Claim Block. 
The project received a robust analysis that included an extended 80-day scoping period to identify issues of concern to the public and a 60-day public comment period on the Draft EA. The Final EA provides responses to the substantive comments received. DEQ has modified or added environmental impact analysis based on those comments. 
The EA includes an in-depth analysis of potential impacts to wildlife, soils, vegetation, cultural and historical properties, water quality, geothermal impacts, transportation, socioeconomics, noise and other impacts to land use and recreation, including cumulative impacts. 
“We took a hard look at the comments received and the issues identified,” said DEQ Director Tom Livers. “Ultimately, the company has agreed to mitigations beyond what is required in statute.” 
These mitigations include water quality and wildlife monitoring plans and an alternate access route around the Chico Hot Springs Resort. Additionally, DEQ added analysis of socioeconomic impacts and expanded the noise, wildlife and visual analysis. 
The Final Environmental Assessment discloses potential impacts on area resources, including geology, wildlife, aquatics, cultural and historic sites, water quality, geothermal, land use, recreation, noise, soils, vegetation, transportation, air quality, and visuals. The Final Environmental Assessment is online at: http://deq.mt.gov/Public/ea/hardrock


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