Release of Draft EIS Marks Another Key Milestone for Black Butte Copper Project, Montana
Triggers start of 60-day public comment period, after which a summer Record of Decision (ROD) and Mine Operating Permit could be issued
White Sulphur Springs, Montana – March 11, 2019 – Sandfire Resources America, Inc. (“Sandfire America” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (“MT DEQ”) has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) outlining the final permitting steps for its 100%-owned underground Black Butte Copper Project.
The Draft EIS will be open for public comment for a 60-day period commencing March 11, 2019 and completing May 10, 2019. A link to the Draft EIS can be found on our website, www.sandfireamerica.com, along with a link to our community presentation, which provides a detailed overview of the Project.
Following the Draft EIS public comment period, the MT DEQ will respond to comments and issue a final EIS. Then the MT DEQ can issue a Record of Decision (ROD) and Mine Operating Permit for the Black Butte Project, potentially as early as the Q3 of 2019.
The proposed showcase underground mine is designed to provide economic opportunity to Central Montana while fully protecting the Smith River Watershed.
The issuing of the Draft EIS is the result of three years and four months of diligent effort by the Company, its consulting technical experts and the MT DEQ to prepare an appropriate design and permit to deliver a state-of-the-art, environmentally responsible mine development project.
The Company has also completed a DRAFT Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, secured a Draft Air Quality Permit and a completed Hard Rock Mining Impact Plan – all required by the MT DEQ for incorporation in the final Record of Decision (ROD). A Section 404 Permit has also been issued in accordance with the Clean Water Act and is the only federal permit required in the permitting process for the Black Butte Copper Project.
The MT DEQ deemed Black Butte Project’s Mine Operating Permit Application (“MOP”) Complete and Compliant on August 14, 2017 and the Company received a Draft Operating Permit on September 19, 2017.
Commenting on the completion of the Draft EIS, Rob Scargill, CEO and VP Project Development, said:
“The completion of the Draft EIS represents another key step towards development of a state-of-the-art underground mining operation at Black Butte which will set new standards for mine developments globally. We encourage all stakeholders to review the Draft EIS and see first-hand the level of care and diligence which has been applied to our project to ensure that it meets or exceeds Montana’s strict environmental standards.
Jerry Zieg, Senior Vice President, said:
“We continue with our commitment to bringing this extraordinary project to fruition while protecting our pristine environment and providing economic opportunities for our local Meagher County community and the State of Montana. We have always remained focused on building a showcase underground mine that is operated safely and incorporates world-class environmental standards and world-leading technologies, followed by complete reclamation returning all lands back to their original uses.”
Sandfire Resources America Inc.
Nancy Schlepp, VP of Communications
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: Certain disclosures in this document constitute “forward looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation, including statements regarding the completion of the Feasibility Study, permitting timelines and the Company’s plans for advancing the Black Butte Copper Project and expected outcomes. In making these forward-looking statements, the Company has applied certain factors and assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable, including that the Company will receive required regulatory approvals, that the Company will continue to be able to access sufficient funding to execute its plans, and that the results of exploration and development activities will be consistent with management’s expectations. However, the forward-looking statements in this document are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors, including factors relating to the Company’s operation as a mineral exploration and development company and the Black Butte Copper Project, that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements, including that results of exploration and development activities will not be consistent with management’s expectations, delays in obtaining or inability to obtain required government or other regulatory approvals or financing, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, the risk of accidents, labor disputes, inclement or hazardous weather conditions, unusual or unexpected geological conditions, ground control problems, earthquakes, flooding and all of the other risks generally associated with the development of mining facilities. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.