Approved operations include exploratory drilling at four locations conducted 24 hours per day, 7 days a week for up to one year. Drilling is most likely to begin in spring 2013. These operations may require up to 10 people working in the area and two drill sites operating concurrently. Water for drilling purposes will be supplied and pumped from water sources in the Little Rocky Creek, Burnt Creek and Prairie Dog Creek watersheds. The drill sites would primarily be accessed using helicopters. Additionally, some transportation of personnel and equipment would occur on existing roads.
Upon completion of the exploratory drilling, Stillwater Mining Company is required to conduct reclamation activities on all disturbed sites. The Decision Memo can be accessed by visiting www.fs.usda.gov/custer and clicking on the right hand quick link to NEPA projects, then scrolling down to the specific project name: SMC Blitz Proj Surface and Mineral Exploration Pln of Ops 13.0, 14.2, 18.2, 25.0 Drill Sites. This decision is subject to appeal pursuant to 36 CFR 215. For additional information on the project or the appeals process, please contact Dan Seifert, Assistant Forest Geologist, Custer National Forest at 406-446-2103.