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Humboldt Decision Delayed

The MDEQ asked for a third delay this year on making a decision on the proposed Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company reuse of the Humboldt Mill. In June, the DEQ asked the deadline to be extended to allow the agency to review and evaluate Kennecott’s response to the requests for clarification submitted to the Department from Kennecott earlier this year. Kennecott’s proposed reuse application was originally submitted to the DEQ on Dec. 26. In April, the DEQ asked for a deadline extension until June 19.

Michelle Halley of National Wildlife Federation said the delays and company financial setbacks of Rio Tinto shake the certainty of the projects. “Both this permit process (Humboldt) and the Eagle permit process still have a long way to go and there’s no guarantee that either of these will ever get permitted and become operational,” Halley said. “Numerous delays on both projects seem to indicate the opposite.”  The submitted  proposal would allow the processing 1,500 tons of ore per day from potential mines in the area. The company estimates a price tag of $80 million for site clean up and reclamation. When the agency reaches a preliminary decision, the public will have another opportunity to comment before a final DEQ decision on the application is rendered. There is no deadline set for making a final decision.