The South Fork of the Salmon River just made the list of America’s most endangered rivers of 2018.
The group American Rivers included the Salmon's South Fork on its top 10 list of endangered rivers because of a proposal for new open pit gold and antimony mines near its banks. The group says the proposed project from Midas Gold threatens the stream, the fish and communities downstream with pollution.
Both American Rivers and Midas Gold say the south fork is already polluted from mining that began in the 1800s. In a promotional video, Midas Gold says it plans to repair the damage left behind.
“Midas Gold is dedicated to using modern mining as a tool to rehabilitate the area at its own cost, not the taxpayers.”
The company says it has already planted over 50,000 trees and removed 30 tons of scrap metal left by previous miners. It estimates extracting up to 5 million ounces of gold and 200 million pounds of antimony, which is used in batteries and other products.
The Forest Service is still reviewing the project and Midas Gold says without it, the Salmon River will remain in danger of pollution. American Rivers says the river and endangered fish are in jeopardy if the Stibnite mine is reopened and expanded.
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