Sandfire Resources has inched closer to securing the Record of Decision and the Mine Operating Permit for its Black Butte Copper Project, from two Montana government agencies.
As part of the process to achieve these permits, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality has released the final environmental impact statement, signaling that it has completed the environmental reviews for the project. Montana’s Department of Natural Resources & Conservation has also issued a preliminary determination that includes leasing water for the copper project that is 85pc owned by Australia’s Sandfire Resources. This permit also addresses Sandfire’s American subsidiary’s request for a groundwater permit.
Sandfire Resources has also provided Sanfire Resources America with a $2mn unsecured loan to cover anticipated expenditures from the ROD to complete the feasibility study.
According to a website dedicated to the project, the mine is slated to become operational either this year or next.
Black Butte, which has an estimated copper concentration of 1bn lb (453,592mt) and 12mn mt of mineralization, is the world’s second-highest grade copper deposit under development.