Second Canadian company requests exploration permit near Stibnite
Vancouver, British Columbia-based Stallion Gold has begun exploratory geological work in Idaho’s mountains between Yellow Pine and the Stibnite mining site, with a goal of determining how much gold and antimony might be in the ground.
The group says it holds 695 mining claims for a 5,644 hectare area of Valley County it's calling Horse Heaven.
Stallion Gold last fall formally requested drilling exploration permits from the U.S. Forest Service. Rick Wells, Minerals program manager for the Boise National Forest, said exploratory drilling isn’t that much different than drilling a water well might be.
“[The Forest Service] will basically try to figure out what type of impacts that would create and whether they would be negative or not,” he said.
The evaluation is ongoing. Already, Wells said feedback from the Service has already improved Stallion Gold’s plan.
“We pulled them off of those old mining roads onto more of the main road,” Wells explained. “So there's less surface disturbance.” He said some proposed drilling sites were relocated due to a risk for rockslides, and Stallion Gold agreed to capture and reuse much of the water during the drilling process, and dispose of drilling waste off site.
“In my opinion, the impacts dramatically were reduced," Wells said. “I believe it's a much better project now, simply because we worked hard to minimize those impacts.”
The Forest Service has no timeline for its decision on the exploratory drilling permit.
“This particular project is going to go through a tremendous amount of scrutiny from a variety of different specialists," Wells said. “And I think Stallion Gold and the Forest Service both have a desire to make sure that they're not creating environmental issues.”
In press releases, Stallion Gold says geological and historical analysis of the area are continuing. Maps of the area in investor documents show priority areas very close to the community of Yellow Pine, along the Golden Gate fault zone where historical drilling has indicated a likelihood of above-normal gold deposits.
The company, which did not return requests for comment, is positioning the proximity of its claim area to the Stibnite site, run by Canadian company Perpetua Resources (formally Midas Gold), as a positive for investors.
Wells says it’s far too early to know whether any exploration will lead to a request for mining activity.
“Most exploration projects do not make it to a mine.”