Hecla receives federal approval for Rock Creek Mine
The first phase of Hecla Mining’s proposed silver and copper mine in the northwestern Montana wilderness area was approved by Kootenai National Forest officials, however, the mine’s fate is still uncertain due to a legal dispute with state regulators.
The Associated Press reported that Kootenai National Forest officials announced their approval of plans by Hecla Mining Co. to begin exploration work for the Rock Creek Mine near Noxon.
Hecla would initially mine on 20 acres, to determine the feasibility of a full-scale mine that would cover almost 500 acres.
Montana regulators in June asked a judge to block Hecla CEO Phillips Baker, Jr. from exploring or opening any new mines in the state, alleging that he is in violation of the state's "bad actor" law because of ongoing pollution caused by a mining company where Baker once worked.