The mining company American CuMo Mining Corporation and its subsidiary Idaho CuMo Mining Corporation have finalized an agreement with Boise County that will allow CuMo to begin exploring for valuable minerals in the Boise National Forest near Idaho City.
The Forest Service gave the company the go-ahead to begin road building and drilling more than a month ago. But project manager Joe Puccinelli says it took a little longer than expected to finish the legal agreement with the county for things like maintenance of roads the company will use extensively.
“We’re probably not going to be able to do drilling this year but we are planning on putting in an extension of one of the project site roads,” Puccinelli says.
He says CuMo will work until mid-December unless snow in the rugged terrain stops them sooner. Exploration will begin in earnest next spring. Depending on the exploration results and future permitting, CuMo’s eventual plan is to build one of the nation’s largest open-pit mines.
Environmentalists oppose the project, citing its closeness to the headwaters of the Boise River, a major source of drinking water for Idaho’s most populous area.
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