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Boise National Forest opens public comment on Idaho City mining site

A long view of both dead and living trees along the peaks and valleys of the Boise National Forest
Boise National Forest
Boise National Forest is taking public comment this month on a proposed exploratory mining project north of Idaho City.

This month, Boise National Forest is taking public comment on a proposed exploratory mining site just north of Idaho City.

The CuMo Project would consist of 122 drilling holes across the roughly 2,900-acre project site.

Idaho Copper, the company behind the proposal, says the area potentially holds significant reserves of copper and molybdenum.

The company said molybdenum could potentially be used in future lithium-ion batteries, solar panels and other renewable energy technologies.

This phase of the proposal would see construction of nearly nine miles of roads into the project, which would eventually be reclaimed.

Several environmental groups have challenged the CuMo Project in court over the last decade.

Two court rulings have found previous environmental assessments by the U.S. Forest Service flawed when it didn’t properly consider the project’s effect on groundwater or a rare plant in the area.

Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Rivers United and Golden Eagle Audubon teamed up for the lawsuit.

ICL said Idaho doesn’t need a second open pit mine to extract the minerals. The Thompson Creek mine near Challis is considering restarting operations.

Forest Service officials will take public comment through June 27.

They will hold a virtual public meeting Wednesday, June 13 from 6-7 p.m. Another in-person meeting is scheduled for June 18 at the Best Western Vista Inn in Boise.

Copyright 2024 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

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