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Perpetua Resources, formerly Midas Gold, announced today that the U.S. Forest Service will be initiating another environmental review of the proposed Stibnite Gold Project after the mining company submitted a new mine plan (ModPRO2) in January 2021–after the public review period ended on its initial mine plan. According to the company, the Forest Service will be initiating a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement of the proposed cyanide leach gold mine in early 2022, with a Final Record of Decision in 2023. This pushes the timeline back another year.

Community and conservation organizations sent a letter to the Forest Service in February and June 2021, urging the agency to undertake a new review of the Stibnite Gold Project, given the major changes in the new mine plan and the significant impacts associated with the original plan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s review of the initial mine plan identified potential “disproportionally high and adverse impacts to tribal populations.” The massive open-pit Stibnite Mine would use cyanide to extract gold on public lands in the headwaters of Idaho’s Salmon River—one of the most cherished and economically important waterways in the northwest.

“We support the Forest Service’s decision to subject Stibnite to further environmental review. The initial review identified very harmful impacts from the first mine plan. It’s vital that the new mine plan undergo an equally rigorous environmental review and opportunity for public comment.”

Bonnie Gestring, Earthworks’ Northwest Program Director

Brendan McLaughlin, (206) 892-8832, bmclaughlin@earthworksaction.org