BLM moves to block new mining at Zortman-Landusky

Joshua Murdock

The Bureau of Land Management on Friday moved to prevent new mining activity for the next 20 years on more than 2,600 acres of land at the Zortman-Landusky Mine site in eastern Montana, effectively reinstating a previous 20-year withdrawal for the land that had been in effect from 2000 though October 2020. 

The public land order, issued Friday by the federal agency, “withdraws 2,688.13 acres of public lands in Phillips County, Montana, from location or entry under the United States mining laws, but not from the mineral leasing or mineral materials disposal laws, for a 20-year period, subject to valid existing rights, to protect the Zortman-Landusky Mine reclamation site.” The order took effect Friday. In June, an additional 912.33 acres were proposed for a 20-year withdrawal. The bureau took comment on that smaller proposal through Sept. 6, but it has yet to be implemented. 

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The implemented and proposed withdrawals are intended “to protect the Zortman-Landusky Mine area and to facilitate reclamation and stabilization for a 20-year term,” according to the order and proposal. In a news release Friday, the BLM’s Malta Field Office

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