Hecla Mining and the Rock Creek Mine Project NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!!

It will only take a minute of your time.

heclaA Draft Environmental Assessment was released in February for a 45-day comment period.

The deadline for comment is Monday, April 4, 2016.

Please submit your comment using the following link:  http://supportrockcreekmine.com and please send this e-mail on to your e-mail list and encourage others to comment. This is easy and fast!

Note:  Hecla supports the US Forest Service’s preferred Alternative V.

If you have any questions, check out the web site http://www.rockcreekmine.com.

The web site contains a great deal of information for your reference.


On February 19, 2016 the Kootenai National Forest released a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the Rock Creek mine near Noxon, Montana.

The first phase of the project consists of 20 acres of impact and development of a 6000-foot exploration adit into the ore body. The exploration phase will include collection of geologic, hydrologic and other environmental data to support a feasibility study and future development decision.

Phase II would be the ultimate construction, operation and ultimate closure of the mine following an estimated 30-35 year mine life.

The US Forest Service previously approved the project in a 2001 EIS which, following litigation, was remanded back to the Forest in 2010 on 4 key procedural issues including:

1) Inconsistent figures showing facilities in relation to Riparian Habitat Conservation Areas.

2) Explicit schedule for implementation of sedimentation reduction measures.

3) The Supplemental Information Report to support the 2003 did not comply with NEPA.

4) Review of latest available project information.

In 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed legal challenges related to the Endangered Species Act concerning the Bull Trout and the Grizzly Bear.  The Court agreed with the agencies that the mitigation required before mining can begin will assure that there is no significant impact on these species. In fact, the court found that the prospects for Grizzly Bear recovery are actually enhanced by the mitigation required of the mining company.

The SEIS also includes updated information on environmental data including the development of a 3-dimensional groundwater model to assess possible impacts on the areas water quantities and updated mine design standards to assure stability of the room and pillar mining regime.

Finally, the mine will utilize the paste tailings method of management and may be the first mine to be developed under Montana’s toughest in North America, world-class, tailings legislation that was passed in 2015 to assure that the mine tailings will not be subject to failure.

The Rock Creek Mine will produce over 200 million ounces of silver and over 2 billion pounds of copper.  When in full production, the mine will provide over 300 career making, family-wage jobs and generate over $30 million per year in wages for this high unemployment area.  Further, the purchase of goods and services will inject over $13 million per year into the area and the project will also pay out some $175 million in license and property taxes over the life of the mine.

The USFS and other managing agencies have completed their thorough and comprehensive analysis and have concluded that Alternative V is the preferred alternative.  Hecla agrees and supports Alternative V.

The Issue

The United States Forest Service (USFS) has jurisdiction to approve and regulate the Rock Creek Mine Project.  The USFS completed a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement in February and opened a 45-day comment period.

More information on this project is available at:  http://www.rockcreekmine.com

The Draft SEIS is available on the Kootenai National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/kootenai/home/?cid=stelprdb5327758.

The USFS is accepting public comment on the Rock Creek Mine Project’s SEIS thru Monday, April 4, 2016.

Note: Hecla supports the US Forest Service’s preferred Alternative V.

The Action 

Go to the web site to electronically send your comment to the USFS Kootenai National Forest.  We ask that you consider joining Hecla and the USFS in supporting Alternative V.

Again, that site is http://supportrockcreekmine.com
And, send this e-mail to any and all people on your e-mail list and ask them to do the same!

Commenting is fast and easy. The link will take you to our comment section where you can view a draft comment that can be customized.  You may add to the comment wherever you choose, delete portions or even all of the comment, and write a comment entirely on your own.  Or you can simply and easily choose to submit the comment as drafted.  The choice is yours.

If you have any questions, check out the web site http://www.rockcreekmine.com/.  The web site contains a great deal of information for your reference.

If we comment and get all of our friends and co-workers to comment, we can make a difference. THIS IS REALLY EASY AND FAST!

Remember to comment by April 4, 2016.