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lime truck

Trucks filled with lime are ready to go into the Horseshoe Bend Water Treatment Plant in 2015. Dennis Washington's company, Washington Limestone Resources, is now in the permitting process for a proposed lime mine near Drummond. It will supply lime to Montana Resources some time in the future.

Montana Limestone Resources, the proposed Dennis Washington-owned lime mine near Drummond, is initiating the work of getting started.

The Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment as it begins to prepare an environmental assessment document for the proposed limestone quarry. This is the first step for Montana Limestone Resources in seeking an operating permit. The limestone quarry will be on a 546-acre property owned by Washington Limestone Resources. The property is approximately 2 ½ miles west of Drummond in Granite County.

Approximately 7,000 tons of limestone will be extracted per week from the open pit mine, according to DEQ.

Montana Limestone Resources submitted a permit earlier this year, and DEQ determined it was complete and compliant. Preparing an environmental assessment to consider potential impacts of the proposed project is the next step in the process.

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Mark Thompson, Montana Resources’ vice president of environmental affairs, said previously that the lime mine would likely create about 30 to 40 jobs. The lime will be trucked to Montana Resources for use in treating the metals in the Berkeley Pit, a former copper mine in Butte that is now a Superfund site.

The lime mine has been in the works for five or six years now. The mine could be fully permitted by 2020. But Thompson said previously that there is no projected start date for the mine. MR currently has a long-term contract with its Townsend lime supplier, so the new lime mine isn’t expected to open any time soon.

DEQ is accepting public comments through June 19. The public may submit comments electronically to mlr-ea@eroresources.com or by postal mail to Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Jen Lane, MEPA Coordinator, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901.

The permit application is available for public review at DEQ’s main office in Helena at 1520 E. 6th Ave. or by visiting DEQ’s website at deq.mt.gov/Land/hardrock/mlr_apppg.

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