Mines Management Up Nearly 25 Percent on Biological Opinion News

Achieving a “major milestone” this week was United States-based Mines Management (TSX:MGT,NYSEMKT:MGN), which said today that on Monday, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued the final biological opinion for its Northwestern Montana-based Montanore silver-copper project.

It concluded that Montanore “poses no jeopardy to endangered or threatened species in the area around the project” based on the company’s preferred operations plan and the “substantial environmental mitigation plan” it has designed.

Commenting positively on the news, Glenn Dobbs, chairman and CEO of Mines Management, said, “[t]his is great news for the Company and the community. We have worked closely with the U.S. Forest Service and USFWS to achieve
an outstanding plan for protection of the grizzly bear, bull trout and other species. We are grateful for the hard work by the USFWS to complete the Biological Opinion. This is a vitally important step toward completing permitting of the Montanore Mine project.”

One reason the news is so important is that it means Mines Management has just a few steps left in the permitting process. Those include a final environmental impact study, draft record of decision, objection and resolution process and final record of decision. When that last step is complete, Montanore will be “permitted for final evaluation and construction activities contingent upon meeting all regulatory and mitigative requirements.” After the company has received all its permits and amassed adequate funding, it will complete a number of further steps, including “additional underground infill drilling” to support a final feasibility study.

Ultimately, Montanore, which according to Mines Management holds one of the biggest silver-copper deposits in the world, is expected to host a mine that will operate at 12,500 tons per day, later moving up to 20,000 tons a day, for at least 15 years. It will put out a copper concentrate containing about 40-percent copper and 106 ounces of silver per ton, producing over 6 million ounces of silver and 50 million pounds of copper each year, as per a 2011 preliminary economic assessment.

Of course, today’s news is also significant given the number of big projects that have recently been thrown off track for environmental reasons. Perhaps most notable is Northern Dynasty’s (TSX:NDM,NYSEMKT:NAK) copper-gold Pebble project, which the US Environmental Protection Agency is set on shutting down. Another is Pacific Booker Minerals‘ (TSXV:BKM,NYSEMKT:PBM) Morrison copper-gold project, for which the company is struggling to get an environmental assessment certificate.

Shares of Mines Management are currently selling for $1.44 each, up 28.57 percent. Its final environmental impact study is currently being prepared for final review and edits, so investors would do well to keep an eye out for that.


Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

Editorial Disclosure: Mines Management is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content. 

Related reading: 

EPA to Put a Stop to Pebble Mine, Northern Dynasty Shares Plummet