Welcome to our website to learn more about our exciting and industry leading Black Butte Copper Project (BBCP), designed using state-of-the-art technology to ensure compliance with all Montana mining laws protecting the pristine environment in the Smith River watershed. BBCP is a high grade copper project containing nearly 1 billion pounds of contained copper. In fact, this is the second highest grade copper deposit under development in the world. Montana has some of the most stringent mining standards and environmental protection laws globally. We understand this and gladly accept it.
I am proud to be part of bringing the Black Butte Project to fruition because it is critically important that we can design, operate, and close a copper mine in the 21st Century without leaving an environmental legacy. That is exactly how this mine is planned; to showcase responsible development while meeting strict regulations with community input and support. We want to raise the bar while operating safely and profitably, it can be done.
As you look a little closer into each component of our mine plan, you will see the pain staking efforts that have been taken to prevent any and all environmental issues. These include a cement binder being added to approximately half of the tailings (the ground-up rock left after the copper has been removed) and redeposited back underground in mined out cavities to eliminate acid rock drainage and surface subsidence issues. Similarly, cement will also be added to the other half of the tailings which will be deposited in a double lined facility creating a solid and stable environment. As a result, a tailings dam failure as we have seen in parts of the world is not physically possible here. In addition, a reverse osmosis water treatment plant will treat all water in our closed system to drinking water standards, then return it underground through an underground infiltration gallery.
This is not a mine built 100 years ago. This is not an open pit mine on the Smith River. This will be a small, high grade underground mine that is approximately one mile from Sheep Creek and around 19 river miles from the Smith. We will extensively monitor the immediate mine area and manage our very small footprint which is located entirely on private ranch lands.
This project is important to Meagher County and the surrounding area. The community wants jobs and all the positive opportunities that come with an operation like this, but not if it sacrifices the quality of the water and landscapes we all love for those gains. When done right, this project will mean that our residents have the opportunity to work in the place they call home. All families dream of kids coming back to a career in their home community, it will still take a few years to finalize permitting and to build the mine, but this will be a reality for White Sulphur Springs. We fully expect our workforce of around 240 people will come from Meagher County and the surrounding areas.
If you are in Montana please drop in and see us at any time in White Sulphur Springs or join us on our first of every month tour day. Sandfire has an open door policy and we all work diligently to continue our commitment to transparency.