Fort Belknap tribes push mine cleanup
Facebook Twitter Email

Citing years of damage to sacred sites on the Fort Belknap Reservation, the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes are pushing the state of Montana to completely restore a toxic gold mine.

Two open-pit gold mines are located on the reservation and were shut down in 1998. The tribe and the state agree mostly on how to clean up the Zortman mine but disagree on the Landusky one.

Tribal comments submitted to the state call for a complete restoration of the mine, which is located in the Little Rocky Mountain, back to its original state. But state officials say that could cause more environmental damage.

As it stands, the estimated cost of the cleanup is $63 million, twice the $30 million reclamation bond Peagusus Gold Corp. forfeited when it shut down the mines and declared bankruptcy.

The state and the tribes are hoping Congress will make a special appropriation to cover the extra costs.

Get the Story:
Tribes seek tough reclamation plans for gold mines (The Billings Gazette 10/1)

Related Stories:
Mont. tribes lose mining auction (9/5)