Two years of independent baseline environmental data collection and monitoring have confirmed that the Empire mine, in Idaho, US, will not threaten critical habitat for endangered plant or wildlife species, says Aim-listed Phoenix Copper.
The company reports that the environmental baseline studies have now been completed and that the results will be used for environmental permitting and the continued development of the plan of operations for all future mining activity, including Red Star and the Empire openpit copper oxide deposit.
Phoenix retained the services of North America-based Cascade Earth Sciences (CES) with a field office in Pocatello, Idaho, in 2017 to provide independent, third-party collection and evaluation of baseline environmental data necessary for the permitting of mining operations at the Empire mine site.
"The results of two years of extensive flora, wildlife, hydrological, and archaeological studies by the CES team have resulted in no critical habitat for threatened or endangered plant and wildlife species, most notably Sage Grouse.
“Additionally, CES hydrologists have concluded that no legacy impacts to surface or groundwater occurred as a result of historical mining operations. CES archaeologists were also unable to identify any significant cultural artefacts on the Empire property. These findings clear the path to permitting and should have a positive effect on our permitting timeline,” said CEO Ryan McDermott.
The company has a copper-oxide resource at Empire and a silver/lead resource at Red Star, both situated within the area of CES's baseline studies. The copper sulphide target at Empire also lies within the boundaries of the CES survey and means that it has three projects with these favourable environmental conditions.