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Mines Management hosts reception

| October 29, 2004 12:00 AM

Mines Management Inc. is hosting a public reception and presentation on Wednesday, Nov. 3, of their plans to continue pursuing the development of the Montanore Project south of Libby.

The reception will be at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Center in Libby.

The Montanore project is a silver and copper mine that is to be located at the mouth of Ramsey Creek as it exits the Cabinet Mountains. It was originally developed by Noranda Minerals of Canada beginning in 1988.

Noranda had constructed a 14,000-foot exploration tunnel at the mouth of Libby Creek and was fully permitted when it abandoned the project after spending $100 million. The mining company had discontinued work on the project in 1992 as a result of poor economics and challenges raised by the State of Montana regarding release of nitrates into Libby Creek. The project was closed down indefinitely in 1994 and the adit sealed.

Mines Management was a 10 percent minority partner in the project.

The proposed mine contains an estimated 260 million ounces of silver and two billion pounds of copper. A revised mining plan calls for a capacity of 12,500 tons per day producing an estimated 8 million ounces of silver and 64 million pounds of copper per year.

The project was fully permitted up to two years ago, according to Glenn Dobbs, company president. In August, Dobbs said he expects the permitting period to take 20-24 months.

³With the existing environmental impact statement as the basis for re-permitting, we believe the process will be significantly shorter than if we were starting from scratch,² Dobbs said.

Noranda had originally estimated the mine as employing 250-300 people when it was under full operation.