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Simplot looking to expand by 280 acres

Simplot dump truck

Simplot is looking to increase it’s mining lease by 280 acres “to accommodate the expansion of the east overburden disposal area.”

The Pocatello Field Office of the BLM, the Forest Service and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality are working together to prepare an environmental impact statement and the proposal. The agencies are also collecting public comment on the project.

In addition to the lease expansion, Simplot has also proposed a Mine Plan Modification Project for the Smokey Canyon Mine.

The proposal includes:
• construction of an ore conveyor belt system between Panel F and the existing mill;
• enlarging the existing Panel G lease by 280 acres to accommodate the expansion of the east overburden disposal area;
• utilization of a geo-synthetic clay laminate liner over approximately 400 acres of seleniferous materials in Panel G;
• and, enlarging the south overburden disposal area within the existing Panel G lease by 20 acres for the temporary storage of chert.

According to the BLM, mining in Panel F and Panel G was “originally evaluated in 2007” and approved in 2008.

The BLM and U.S. Forest Service have scheduled a series of public meetings regarding the mine proposal.

Wednesday, July 10 a meeting will take place at the Afton Civic Center from 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, July 11 a meeting will be held at the BLM office in Pocatello from 6-8 p.m.
Friday, July 12, a meeting is scheduled from 4-6 p.m. in the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel Event Center in Fort Hall.

Additional information on the project and the upcoming  meetings is available by calling Diane Wheeler, project manager in the BLM Field Office, (208) 557-5839.

Comments regarding the project can be submitted to: Panels F and G Lease and Mine Plan Modification Project EIS, c/o JBR Environmental, 8160 South Highland Drive, Sandy, Utah, 84093; or online here.

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