HELENA—The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has released its Record of Decision for Barretts Minerals, Inc (BMI) regarding an amendment application to expand the Regal Mine. BMI mines talc ore and has been in operation since 1972. Issuance of the Record of Decision allows BMI to expand and deepen the mine pit, increase the size of the waste rock disposal facility and expand the mine’s water management system. The mine and proposed expansion area are approximately 11 miles southeast of Dillon Mont., in Madison County.
BMI submitted an application to DEQ for an operating permit under the Metal Mine Reclamation Act.
DEQ analyzed the project under the Montana Environmental Policy Act, and issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement on March 12, 2020. The Final Environmental Impact Statement analyzed the potential impacts from the proposed project and alternatives to the project. DEQ has identified the waste rock disposal facility (WRDF) and mosaic vegetation alternative as the agency's preferred alternative in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. This alternative incorporates all the features of the proposed action alternative with some reclamation modifications. The alternative design for the WRDF would eliminate the planar and smooth slopes that are common in reclamation work in favor of a landform with swales and drainages that better mimic the natural landscape and the existing topography in the area.
The approval includes permit stipulations to: ensure compliance with the Montana Water Quality Act, establish deadlines for installing water sampling equipment and collecting data, establish provisions for conducting raptors surveys, and establish a deadline for updating the WRDF and mosaic vegetation designs and seed mixes.
DEQ appreciates the public’s participation in the BMI Project. The Record of Decision has been posted on DEQ's website at: http://deq.mt.gov/Public/eis