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MMI files apps for Montanore

| January 11, 2005 11:00 PM

Thirteen volumes comprising an application for the Montanore silver and copper mine near Libby were submitted to the U.S. Forest Service and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality on Jan. 4, according to Mines Management Inc.

The Spokane company is seeking to re-permit and develop the project formerly permitted by Noranda Minerals of Canada.

The application is an amendment of the permits applications initially submitted by Noranda and approved in 1993. It includes updates as well as new data.

³We have worked diligently to prepare an application that addresses all issues related to development and operation of Montanore,² said Glenn Dobbs, Mines Management president and chief executive officer. ³We believe our plan will result in building and operation of a mine that will become the standard by which underground mining will be conducted well into the 21st century.²

The Montanore project was fully permitted by Noranda as recently as spring 2002 before the Canadian mining giant decided to withdraw from its operations in the U.S.

Mines Management is estimating the re-permitting process to be completed within 15-20 months.

Following a review and comment period by the permitting agencies, the project application will follow a multi-step process including:

l Public scooping presentation and comment;

l National Environmental Policy Act and Montana Environmental Policy Act process;

l Issuance of a draft environmental impact statement;

l Public comment period;

l Issuance of a final EIS and Record of Decision.

Last fall, Mines Management officials announced their intentions during a series of public meetings and to various groups within the Libby community.

³The company has been gratified with the reception we have received from the local community and its encouragement to re-permit ontanore, ³Dobbs said.