Perpetua Resources (Nasdaq: PPTA) (TSX: PPTA) announced Thursday that the United States Forest Service (USFS) is advancing the company’s modified proposed action in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and updated the permitting schedule for the Stibnite Gold project in Idaho.
The results of an independent feasibility study released last year envision the project becoming one of the largest and highest-grade open-pit gold mines in the United States with over 4 million ounces of gold in reserve —and the country’s only primary producer of antimony, a critical and strategic mineral.
There is currently no domestic antimony source, and 90% of world supply is controlled by China, Russia and Tajikistan.
Perpetua Resources’ modified proposed action was submitted to USFS in December 2020 and represents refinements to Alternative 2 of the August 2020 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
The refined plan incorporates stakeholder feedback on the DEIS and is designed to reduce the project footprint and improve environmental outcomes. Modifications include the elimination of waste rock storage areas, overall reductions in mined material, additional pit backfilling and restoration, and improvements to water quality and water temperature. The USFS’s decision advances Perpetua Resources’ improved project design in the NEPA process.
“We are pleased the USFS is advancing our proposed action forward and establishing a well-defined path towards a Record of Decision,” Laurel Sayer, CEO of Perpetua Resources said in a press release.
“These actions expressly integrate public input and additional analysis in the process, reduce the project’s environmental effects, and enhance our restoration and community objectives.”
The proposed improvements, which reduce the project footprint and are predicted to improve water quality conditions at the site during and after project operations, have been incorporated in Perpetua Resources’ 2020 Feasibility Study.