THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR) announced its TSX-listed, 78 per cent-owned North American subsidiary, Tintina Resources has received a draft operating permit for the Black Butte copper project in central Montana, USA.
Sandfire Resources said the draft operating permit, which has been received from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MT DEQ) Hard Rock Mining Bureau, formally concludes the “Completeness & Compliance” review and marks the commencement of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the final stage of permitting.
Sandfire consider the Black Butte project to be one of the world’s premier high-grade undeveloped copper projects, and as such is a key part of the company’s longer-term strategic growth pipeline.
In addition to the draft operating permit, the Montana Public Service Commission has approved an agreement between Fergus Electric Cooperative and NorthWestern Energy to provide power to the Black Butte copper project.
“We are very pleased to have achieved this milestone, which marks the culmination of a vast amount of work and effort by the Tintina team,” Sandfire Resources managing director and CEO, Karl Simich said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“This reflects our commitment to steadily work through all of the required permitting processes to ensure that this is a world-class, state-of-the-art underground mine development that sets the highest standards in terms of environmental management.
“We are looking forward to the start of the EIS process, during which we will continue to engage with the community to demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship, which remains at the heart of everything we do.
“The studies we have completed show clearly that this project can operate in a way that protects the environment, while at the same time providing significant economic opportunities.
“In this regard, I am pleased to note the receipt of approval from the Montana Public Service Commission for a power supply agreement that will see important power transmission infrastructure constructed in the region.
“This is a good example of the sort of positive local economic contribution which this project can make, with the new power transmission line representing a significant infrastructure upgrade to the community of White Sulphur Springs.”