Forest Service OKs New Cobalt Mine West of Salmon
The federal government has approved a proposed cobalt mine west of Salmon in central Idaho, subject to conditions.
The U.S. Forest Service approved Formation Capital Corp.’s plan to mine cobalt — used in jet engines, batteries for hybrid and electric cars and other machines — in the Panther Creek drainage of the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
“As we have firmly believed, a sustainable, responsible mine plan can be designed without compromise to the environment,” said Bill Scales, president of the Vancouver, B.C., company’s U.S. subsidiary.
The agency will require Formation Capital to post financial assurances to guarantee long-term water-quality management, forest Supervisor Bill Wood said. It also will require measures to protect endangered fish and to meet federal pollution-discharge rules.
Formation Capital also must obtain administrative access and power line easements across adjacent private land prior to commencing ground-disturbing activities. The mine should not interfere with efforts to restore salmon and steelhead fisheries damaged by past mining at the adjacent Blackbird Mine site, he said.
“This is possibly the most critical milestone the company has reached regarding the Idaho Cobalt Project,” said Mari-Ann Green, CEO of Formation Capital Corp.
Copies of the Forest Service’s record of decision are available at the Salmon-Cobalt Ranger District office and Forest supervisor’s office in Salmon. In addition, a copy will be available at the public libraries in Salmon and Challis.
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