PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Sandfire Resources has overcome another development hurdle at its Black Butte project, in Montana, after it was issued a draft operating permit for the copper project.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality now considers the project to be "complete and compliant" in accordance with all state rules and regulations, and it is in the process of finalising the selection of an independent third-party contractor to prepare an environmental-impact statement (EIS).
The EIS, which will take one year to complete, will result in a final record of decision, Sandfire said on Wednesday, allowing construction and development of the underground mine to start.
Sandfire MD and CEO Karl Simich noted that the receipt of the draft operating permit was another milestone that reflected the quality of the vast body of technical work that had gone into the development and operating plan of the Black Butte copper project.
“We are looking forward to the start of the EIS process, during which we will continue to engage with the community to demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship, which remains at the heart of everything we do.
“The studies we have completed show clearly that this project can operate in a way that protects the environment, while, at the same time, providing significant economic opportunities.”
The Black Butte project is a key part of Sandfire’s long-term strategic growth pipeline, and is estimated to hold a mineral resource of some 15.7-million tonnes, grading 3.4% copper for 533 600 t of contained copper.
Meanwhile, Sandfire on Wednesday announced that it would subscribe for its full 78% entitlement in a five-for-nine rights issue being undertaken by TSX-V listed subsidiary Tintina Resources.
The rights issue, if fully subscribed, would raise C$10.8-million, with the proceeds used to advance permitting and pre-development activities at Black Butte.