Mr. John Mears reports
MONTANA ATTORNEY GENERAL REQUESTS DENIAL OF THE MOTION FOR VACATUR OF EXPLORATION LICENSE, LUCKY MINERALS RETAINS LICENSE FOR STRATEGIC MINERALS EXPLORATION AT EMIGRANT CREEK
Montana's attorney-general, Tim Fox, has issued a brief in response to plaintiffs' motion for vacatur of exploration licence pursuant to the court's order dated Aug. 21, 2018, in the case of Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Park County Environmental Council (PCEC) versus Lucky Minerals Inc. The attorney-general's brief requests that Montana's District Court deny the motion for vacatur and uphold Lucky Minerals' private property rights.
PCEC's motion, which was filed in June, 2018, asserted that strategic mineral exploration at the Emigrant project would impact Montanans' "right to a clean and healthful environment." The decision extensively examined the matter and determined that the challenge was "fundamentally flawed."
The decision stated: "PCEC's constitutional challenge is fundamentally flawed, insofar as it is based on the demonstrably false presumption that MEPA (Montana Environmental Policy Act) is the only applicable law enacted to protect Montanans' right to a clean and healthful environment."
The brief calls out PCEC's failure to acknowledge "the significant and comprehensive range of environmental protection remedies" under the Metal Mine Reclamation Act (MMRA).
"Modern mining is subject to stringent state and federal mining regulations that have evolved the industry since the early nineties," stated John Mears, chief executive officer of Lucky Minerals. "The attorney-general's brief affirms that Montanans have existing adequate protections that allow job-creating projects like Emigrant to advance while preserving the safety and health of the community."
Additionally, the attorney-general's brief highlights PCEC's misapplication of MEPA to permanently halt the Emigrant project based solely on philosophical differences. It states, "The legislature never intended MEPA to be the roadblock tool of environmental groups for indefinitely delaying -- and ultimately shutting down -- all resource development projects to which the environmental groups are philosophically opposed."
"We are pleased with the attorney-general's decision as it recognizes that efficacy of modern mining regulations," said Mr. Mears, "and challenges anti-development, environmental groups to properly apply relevant laws rather than arbitrarily opposing every project."
The attorney-general's decision comes at a time when the U.S. House of Representatives is once again acknowledging the criticality of domestic mineral resource development and the nation's growing dependency on foreign sources for critical minerals.
Representative Paul Gosar and Representative Rob Bishop of the Committee on Natural Resources submitted an inquiry to Secretary Ryan Zinke at the U.S. Department of Interior to "better understand" the extent of recent mineral withdrawals. The letter requests an inventory of acreages, identification of the agency requesting it, details on the duration of the withdrawal and whether proper mineral assessments have been conducted.
"U.S. dependency on foreign sources for strategic and critical minerals is moving state and federal decision makers to closely examine the barriers that could inhibit responsible mineral development," said Mr. Mears. "We cannot afford as a nation to ignore the necessity of establishing sustainable domestic sources of strategic and critical minerals."
About Lucky Minerals Inc. and the Emigrant project
Lucky Minerals and its subsidiary, Lucky Minerals Montana (LMM), are managing licensed exploration activities of the Emigrant project, which is located on private property within the historical Emigrant mining district in southern Montana.
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