Montana’s motto means “Gold and Silver” but for many miners, copper is the metal the state is most famous for. Tintina Resources Inc. President of Communications Nancy Schlepp says the public comment period on a new copper mine proposed near White Sulphur springs is now open. Schlepp says the Black Butte Copper Project will be conducted with an understanding of the “legacy issues” that copper mining faces in Montana.

"We will be an underground mine only,' Schlepp said. "That is because we are very high grade and the copper is very dense and so we can do it underground very well. We will actually be taking all of the tailings, adding cement to it and putting half of it back underground in all of the mined out area's we've had. The other half that won't fit underground will be sent to a cemented tailings facility."

Schlepp says, if approved, the Black Butte Project will be the first in North America to ship tailings with sealed containers, and that the money generated by the mine will help boost state revenues.

"Our studies are showing that over the life of the mine, total tax revenue between county, state and federal will be around the $400 million mark," Schlepp said. "I can tell you that just in gross proceeds tax alone, our county of Meagher County, which is where I grew up and where this project is, will be over three million dollars."

The plan is that the land will be converted back into grazing land when the project is finished and that no tailing ponds will be used in the project, but other groups like “Save Our Smith” argue the mine could pollute local water ways. An Environmental Impact Study will be prepared over the course of the next year by an independent contractor to predict the actual environmental impacts from the project.


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