In late October, the U.S. Forest Service released its Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the proposed Stibnite Gold Project. The proposed open pit cyanide leach mine is located east of Cascade and McCall, in the headwaters of the East Fork South Fork Salmon River. ICL and our partners have identified numerous concerns with the mining project, including unacceptable impacts to fisheries, wildlife, and water quality, to name a few. The proposal also comes with significant concerns regarding transportation and impacts to roadless and Wilderness areas.
This video gives a great summary of our major concerns over the project.
The SDEIS analyzes the impacts of the proposed mine through three alternatives: No Action; the Johnson Creek Route; and the 2021 Modified Mine Plan (MMP) which would construct 15 miles of new road through Inventoried Roadless Areas and for a mile along the border of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The Forest Service identified the 2021 MMP with the new mine road as the preferred alternative. The development of the Stibnite Gold Project would significantly alter the upper East Fork South Fork Salmon watershed (one of the pits would be 720 feet below the river bed before it is backfilled with waste rock). Any spills involving hazardous materials could severely affect the environment and economic health of West Central Idaho and Valley County.
Perpetua Resources, the project proponent, touts the project as a “restoration” opportunity, and necessary for a “green” energy future by using antimony extracted from the mine for industrial-scale batteries, however the SDEIS discloses the mine will actually degrade habitat for important species bull trout instead of restoring it. In the end, the Stibnite Gold Project remains exactly as it sounds: a flawed open pit cyanide leach gold mine in a highly sensitive area.
Today – January 10, 2023 – is the last day for the public to submit comments and express your concerns regarding this proposed mine to the Forest Service!
Speak up for the South Fork TODAY by taking action below! Together, we can protect this special place from the threats of this alarming project.