October 13, 2016 - 3:38 PM
HELENA, Mont. - The Latest on proposals to mine gold outside Yellowstone National Park (all times local):
Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has asked the Obama administration to take steps to block a pair of mining proposals outside Yellowstone National Park.
Tester made the request in a Thursday letter to leaders of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture.
The Democratic lawmaker says the Yellowstone area and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness deserve special protections because of their beauty and ecological value.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality released a draft environmental review of one of the projects on Thursday.
It said Lucky Minerals' proposal to explore for gold and other metals near Emigrant would not have a significant environmental impact.
A second company, Crevice Mining Group, is seeking to permission to explore for gold near Jardine, just north of the park.
Additional approvals would be needed for large-scale mining.
The state Department of Environmental Quality says a Canadian company's proposal to explore for precious metals in a mining district north of Yellowstone National Park will not have a significant impact on the environment.
The agency's draft environmental assessment on Lucky Minerals' plan, which was released Thursday, recommends the company be given an exploration license, with some additional measures to mitigate any damage.
The DEQ is taking public comment through Dec. 12.
Lucky Minerals wants to obtain core samples from up to 46 drill holes on private land in the Absaroka Mountains in Park County, about 12 miles southeast of Emigrant. The total project disturbance area would be just under 5 acres. The company wants to gauge the area's copper, gold, silver and molybdenum deposits.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016