Unpacking the Stibnite Mine Project - Part I: Where and What?
Perpetua Mining Company has proposed to reopen a mining site near McCall Idaho to mine gold, silver, and - to some degree - antimony. This incredibly complex project has caught the attention of grassroots and state organizations worried about the impacts of the proposed mine on Idaho’s environment and socio-economic culture. In the first episode of their new series, Jessa and Emma try to understand just what the proposed mine is and why Perpetua is proposing this project. Mary Farout Petterson, a board member for the Idaho Conservation League, spoke with Jessa and Emma to uncover some of these answers.
The proposed Stibnite Mine is a huge proposed project. The affected area includes approximately 7 square miles of public land. The mine is mostly in the Payette National Forest, at the headwaters and the East Fork and the South Fork of the Salmon River. Three fish in this vital river, Chinook salmon, Steelhead, and Bull trout on the endangered species list. The mine will impact this river by degrading water quality and causing death to these endangered species. This is only one of the many potentially devastating environmental impacts of the project.
To learn more about the mine’s probable impact on Idaho’s fish, rivers, and land, head over to Idaho Rivers United Stibnite Goldmine page: https://www.idahorivers.org/stibnite . Here, you can also find a link to submit an electronic letter to stop the Stibnite mine. Please do so before the commenting period closes on January 10, 2023.
Here, you can find an archive of all the letters already submitted: https://cara.fs2c.usda.gov/Public/ReadingRoom?project=50516.
One way to read about the mine and get a deeper understanding of just what the project entails is through the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Though an incredibly long and complex document, the executive summary allows the common reader to glean understanding of what Perpetua plans to do with our public land.
You can find the EIS by following this link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50516
Other resources (look out for these topics being discussed in later episodes!):
Be A Voice for Idaho’s Rivers & Wild Fish: Idaho Rivers United River Rat series on the Stibnite Mine: https://www.idahorivers.org/advocacy
Idaho Conservation League’s Stop Stibnite series: https://www.idahoconservation.org/?s=Stibnite&swpmfe=652ea0d21b1427a1bfa685e40d9bc1de
Idaho Headwaters are Simply too Valuable and Vulnerable to Risk. Local grassroots organization, Save the South Fork Salmon: https://savethesouthforksalmon.com/
December 19, 2022: “Department of Defense Issues $24.8M Critical Minerals Award to Perpetual Resources”: https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/3249350/dod-issues-248m-critical-minerals-award-to-perpetua-resources/
Information on the Mining Act of 1872: https://www.blm.gov/programs/energy-and-minerals/mining-and-minerals/about#:~:text=The%20federal%20law%20governing%20locatable,open%20to%20exploration%20and%20purchase.
(An easier read about the General Mining Act of 1872, but sh, don’t tell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Mining_Act_of_1872).
Idaho Rivers United on the Mining Act of 1872 (news article from 2021): https://www.idahorivers.org/news/2021/4/21/mining-climate-change-amp-the-general-mining-act-of-1872
For comments, topic suggestions, or more information, please reach out to Jessa at firstname.lastname@example.org and Emma at email@example.com.