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DEQ Seeks Public Comment on Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a Proposed Mine Amendment in Jefferson County

HELENA—The Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the potential environmental impacts from a proposed tailing reprocessing project at the Golden Sunlight Mine. The Golden Sunlight Mine is located approximately five miles northeast of Whitehall, Montana in Jefferson County. 

The project, an amendment to their current operating permit, would allow Golden Sunlight to excavate and reprocess tailings and extend the life of the mine by up to 12 years. Golden Sunlight would excavate tailings from Tailing Storage Facility 1 using conventional methods, move the material to a re-pulping plant, pump the slurried tailings to the flotation plant in the mill, and reprocess the tailings to extract a gold and sulfide concentrate. Approximately 26 million tons of tailings would be reprocessed, and the remaining product would be placed in an onsite pit. After excavation, the tailings facility footprint would be reclaimed for land uses such as grazing, recreation and wildlife habitat. All proposed activities would occur within the existing permitted disturbance boundary and would not include any new disturbance areas.

DEQ will host a public meeting on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. . The meeting will be held in person at the Borden Hotel in Whitehall as well as hosted virtually on Zoom (accessible both online and by telephone).

The meeting will provide the public with information on the proposed project and an opportunity to provide formal public comment. Participants are asked to register using the link below and to sign up if they wish to provide comment during the meeting. There will also be opportunity to sign up for public comment at the meeting.  

What: A public meeting on the Golden Sunlight Mine Draft EIS

When: Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 6:30 p.m. MST

Where: Participants can attend either in person or virtually through Zoom.

  • The in-person meeting will be held at the Borden Hotel (103 W Legion Ave., Whitehall 59759).
  • Participants can also attend the meeting via Zoom and receive instructions about how to access the meeting by registering at:  

The online meeting is accessible both online and by telephone. DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities who wish to participate in the meeting. If you require an accommodation or would like to register by phone, please contact Moira Davin, Public Relations Specialist at: 406-461-2503 or by email at: Participants joining online are asked to join the meeting ten minutes early to test their connection.  

The public has an opportunity to participate in this review process and to identify environmental issues associated with the project. DEQ will accept public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement until the close of business on July 15, 2021. The comments will assist an interdisciplinary team in establishing the scope of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and DEQ’s preferred alternative. To submit comments or view the Draft EIS, visit the DEQ website at:  

The Draft EIS describes the proposed action, the no action alternative, and DEQ’s preferred alternative and permit stipulations. Impacts to resource areas from these actions are analyzed within the Draft EIS.

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