The charitable giving arm of Midas Gold, the Stibnite Foundation, recently announced the formation of its board. The group will decide how mine money is awarded to local causes.
Midas Gold is undergoing the permitting process to re-open the Stibnite mine about 40 miles east of McCall in Valley County.
The company has a track record of philanthropy in the west-central mountains, and the new foundation will put giving decisions into the hands of local residents.
The Stibnite Foundation board is made up of two Midas Gold employees, plus one person from each of the eight regional communities that signed the mining company’s community agreement.
Notably absent from the Foundation board are representatives from McCall and Valley County. Although both will likely benefit from mine money, and both are in the mine’s sphere of influence — neither gets a seat at the table because they didn’t sign Midas’ community agreement.
About half of the Stibnite Foundation board members also serve on the Stibnite Advisory Council, which is the liaison group between the mine and the public. Advisory Council meetings are open to public attendance, but the Foundation recently announced that its board meetings will not be, which is normal for private foundations.
A January letter obtained by records request shows deputy attorney general Brian Kane calling into question whether the Foundation represents a potential conflict of interest, asking if the agreement too closely ties city and county governments to the profitability of a mine.
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