BLM Releases Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Eastern Idaho Mine Proposal 

click to enlarge An example of an open pit mine, like the one proposed for eastern Idaho. - AGNICO-EAGLE MINES LIMITED, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited, WIkimedia Commons
  • An example of an open pit mine, like the one proposed for eastern Idaho.
The proposed Rasmussen Valley Mine, a 440-acre open pit mine, would unearth phosphate ore located in a mountainous area 18 miles northeast of Soda Springs in eastern Idaho. The operation would include six open pits, external overburden piles, a haul road, a water management plan and other ancillary facilities. 

According to a news released from the Bureau of Land Management, a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) has been completed on the proposed mine. Collaborators included the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army of Engineers, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Idaho Department of Lands, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and Water Resources.

The phosphate ore reserves are contained within a federal mineral lease currently held by Agrium Conda Phosphate Operations. The ore is proposed to be processed off-site at Agrium's fertilizer plant in Soda Springs.

The draft EIS found the mining activities would affect a mixture of the National Forest system, state, public and private lands, as well as a portion of the Blackfoot River Wildlife Management Area owned by Fish and Game. Before the mine operation can move forward, it requires a BLM-approved mine and reclamation plan. 

The draft EIS is available for public comment until Monday, November 2. 
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