BUTTE — A gold mine in southwestern Montana is seeking state and federal permits to expand.
Golden Sunlight proposes mining in a 3.4-mile (5.5 kilometer) tunnel north of Whitehall. The Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comment through May 15.
Canadian-based Barrick Gold Corp. has been working since 2015 to permit the project.
Golden Sunlight Mine general manager Dan Banghart tells The Montana Standard that they had initially planned an open pit mine, but turned the project into an underground mine because receiving a BLM permit would be easier due to the reduced surface disturbance. The mine also needs approval from the state Department of Environmental Quality.
Banghart says the mine likely wouldn’t hire any new workers, but officials say it would improve Jefferson’s County economy and tax revenue.
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