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Mine Exploration Request Near Yellowstone Raises Concerns

Emigrant Peak, near a proposed mine exploration site.
Richard Reeve (CC-BY-SA-2)
Emigrant Peak, near a proposed mine exploration site.

Environmentalists say a Canadian company's request to explore for gold and other elements south of Livingston puts the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem at risk.

Lucky Minerals Incorporated wants to explore a six square-mile area for copper, molybdenum and gold in Emigrant Gulch in the Custer Gallatin National Forest and on private land nearby.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition says the exploration process itself would have significant environmental impacts.

GYC executive director Caroline Byrd says if a mine is developed, it could have a devastating environmental  impact.

Lucky Minerals' vice president Shaun Dykes says critics are overreacting to what amounts to a plan in its earliest of stages.

"All we want to do right now is explore on our claims, on our private land, to figure out what's there. Then, when it comes to a stage where we're looking to say, 'OK, we found something", then we have to go through a whole process of analyzing the best way to extract it," Dykes says.

We'll have more on this story next week.  

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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