The Benbow Exploration Portal would evaluate mineral resources at the far eastern extent of the J-M Reef within Stillwater’s unpatented mining claims. The proposed portal would consist of a 20’ x 20’ horizontal portal connected to an underground exploratory mine adit. There would be an adjacent flat 8.5 acre cleared pad around the portal. Stillwater Mining Company selected the location of the portal pad to minimize visual impacts, while still maintaining the necessary safety and engineering criteria, along with approximate geologic location. In addition to the exploration portal and pad, on the ground facilities are proposed on Forest Service lands including: water monitoring wells, a water treatment plant, a 0.8 mile portal access road, a waste rock storage area, and either an injection well or land application water disposal system.
“In 2013 and 2014, Stillwater submitted plans of operations for exploratory drilling in the Benbow area. Public comment on those plans included concerns about water quality, noxious weed spread, wildlife, aesthetics, recreation, and the local economy. The intent of the September 15 open house is to provide information to the public and to identify concerns specific to Stillwater’s proposed Benbow Portal.” said Dan Seifert, Assistant Forest Geologist.
At the public informational meeting the Forest Service and Montana Department of Environmental Quality will present information about Stillwater Mining Company’s Plan of Operation and state of Montana and Federal mining and environmental laws. Forest Service and Stillwater Mining Company representatives will be on hand to answer questions related to the proposal.
For further information on the proposal or to provide public comment, please contact Dan Seifert at the Beartooth Ranger District: by telephone at (406) 446-2103; or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments or input addressing exploration portal should be submitted by
October 8, 2014 to Beartooth R.D. (6811 US Highway 212 South, Red Lodge, MT, 59068). All comments received, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record and will be available for public inspection. For more information and documents for the exploration portal visit online at: www.fs.usda.gov/custer and click on NEPA and public scoping on the right-hand quicklinks. For general information about the Custer Gallatin National Forest follow us at: @CusterNF or on facebook: The Forest Service - Custer Gallatin National Forests.