The State of Montana finalized a reclamation plan for a mine in western Montana on July 24.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued a final decision that will include the permanent diversion of Clancy Creek away from the eroding edges of Montana Tunnel Mining’s inactive mine south of Helena.
Tunnels Mining installed a pipe to temporarily divert Clancy Creek roughly seven years ago. DEQ Mining Bureau Chief Dan Walsh says that’s when part of the pit wall collapsed.
“It put the Clancy Creek channel in danger of going directly into the pit," he said.
DEQ suspended Tunnels’ mining permit in 2018 because it failed to post a bond for full reclamation.
The 1,200 acres of disturbed land at the mine are not yet at the point of reclamation, but reclamation will now necessarily include digging a replacement channel to steer the Clancy Creek away from the mine edge permanently.