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DEQ Opens Comment Period For Proposed Limestone Mine Near Drummond

A map from a Montana Resources permit request showing the location of a proposed limestone mine near Drummond, Mont.
Montana Department of Environmental Quality

A proposal for a new limestone mine near Drummond is now open for public comment.

A subsidiary of the Washington Companies is seeking a permit from the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to operate a 546-acre open pit mine two-and-a-half miles west of Drummond.

DEQ Spokesperson Karen Ogden says the application includes a processing plant to convert the limestone into a lime product that can be used in the mill at Washington’s Montana Resources copper mine in Butte.

"And potentially at other ore processing plants. It may also be used for the neutralization of acidic mine water at the Montana Resources Butte operation, and potentially at other mines, or for other commercial purposes that arise."

Montana Resources says it plans to use lime from the mine to supply the Horseshoe Bend water treatment plant that currently processes water from their active copper mine, and which is ramping up to treat water from the Berkeley Pit Superfund site.

Montana Resources says the mine will generate four to five truck trips per day between Drummond and Butte, and will produce about 150 to 200 tons of lime per day.

Comments are being accepted until June 19, they’ll inform a draft environmental assessment DEQ expects to put out in November, which will have its own 30 day comment period.


Comment on the proposal:


Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Attn: Jen Lane, MEPA Coordinator
P.O. Box 200901
Helena, MT 59620-0901

The permit application is available for public review at DEQ’s main office in Helena at 1520 E. 6th Ave., or by visiting DEQ’s

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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