A response from Mines Management
To the Editor:
On behalf of Mines Management, Inc. and Montanore Minerals Corp., I wanted to briefly address the latest effort by Mr. Bill Orchow of Revett Minerals to confuse the public regarding the proposed Montanore Mine Project which promises to provide hundreds of good paying jobs to the local region for decades into the future.
First, I am very glad to hear Mr. Orchow publicly state that he and his company are “not trying to stop anyone's project.” I only wish that his actions would correspond with those words.
Regarding our current $40 million Libby Adit evaluation project which underwent a U.S. Forest Service public comment process in the fall of 2007, the only significant negative, and voluminous, comments to the U.S. Forest Service were submitted by Revett and its outside retained lawyers.
That underground project will enable our company to provide local jobs and proceed with a multi-million dollar development drilling and evaluation program through our existing Libby Adit which is already largely constructed with the portal on our privately owned land within the National Forest.
The Libby Adit evaluation program enjoys widespread support within the local community of Libby and elsewhere in Montana, which is true of the entire Montanore Mine Project.
No environmental or community interest groups expressed opposition to our Libby Adit activities in 2006, or in 2007, except Revett which did so repeatedly.
In contrast, Revett's Rock Creek Project has been the subject of repeated litigation by environmental groups in Montana, which Mr. Orchow admits, but what he fails to disclose in his most recent letter is that no less than 10 regional and national environmental groups submitted on Dec. 26, 2007, a detailed notice of their intent to sue in federal court (in 60 or more days) the U.S. Forest Service based on alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act and other federal environmental laws in the permitting of the Rock Creek Mine Project.
Finally, Mr. Orchow is correct that, in spite of his failed July 2002 effort to influence Noranda to give Revett the project, Noranda, the former operator of the Montanore Project, under a contractual obligation returned the controlling claims and the project back to Mines Management.
It is, however, indisputable that the Montanore Project previously was permitted by federal agencies and the State of Montana in 1993, and that in 2006 and 2007 the State of Montana publicly reaffirmed in administrative decisions that the State permits for the Montanore Project have remained in force since 1993, the latest affirmation of that fact being announced by our company this week.
We are in the midst of completing a full re-permitting of the Montanore Project at the federal level in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and that process is progressing well.
In spite of Mr. Orchow and Revett's opposition to the Montanore project, we fully expect our progress to continue with the strong support of the local community for which our company remains very grateful.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mines Management, Inc.
Montanore Minerals Corporation