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haul road at the Thompson Creek MineEnvironmental Impact Statement

Thompson Creek Mine Expansion and Land Exchange

The BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and Idaho Department of Lands have prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the potential environmental effects of authorizing a modified mining plan of operations and issuing a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for the Thompson Creek mine, and authorizing a related proposal to exchange lands in Custer and Bannock Counties. 

On March 27, 2015  the agencies released the final EIS with a 30-day availability period.  The decisions for the mine plan, 404 permit, land use plan amendment, and land exchange will not be issued until after the availability period and the agencies have had time to fully consider all public comments received during the availability period.  

graphic dot, green  Project Email: BLM_ID_TCM_EIS@blm.gov graphic dot, green  

For more information: Ken Gardner, Project Geologist, BLM Challis Field Office 208-879-6210

The Thompson Creek molybdenum mine, owned and operated by Thompson Creek Mining Company (TCMC), is located 20 miles southwest of Challis, Idaho.  It is the fourth largest primary molybdenum mine in the world and is Custer County's largest employer, typically accounting for one out of every five jobs in the county, 45 percent of its wages and salaries, and $114 million of Idaho’s total personal income.  Most of the molybdenum produced from the mine is used as an alloy to make high-strength and corrosion-resistant steel. The mine began commercial production in November 1983, and the current plan of operations allows molybdenum mining to continue through approximately March 2016. 

TCMC submitted a modified mining plan of operations (MMPO) to the BLM, U.S. Forest Service, and Idaho Department of Lands in December 2008 that would allow the mine to continue to produce molybdenum until approximately 2025.  Under both the current mining plan of operations and the MMPO, the mine would continue to process the same amount of ore each day – approximately 30,000 tons from the bottom of the open pit.  However, the mine would require additional area for waste rock and tailings storage.  TCMC also began discussing a related land exchange with the BLM in May 2006 and proposed the land exchange in February 2009.

EIS Documents

August 11, 2016

March 27, 2015

March 21, 2014

August 3, 2010

Land Exchange Documents

April 2013

The Thompson Creek Mining Company has proposed to exchange 80 acres of private land in Bannock Co. and 775 acres of private land in Custer County for surface and mineral estate on 5,144 acres of Federal land in Custer County, under provisions in Sec. 206 of FLPMA.

The proposed exchange would require amending the BLM Challis resource management plan (RMP), to identify the Federal lands involved as suitable for exchange.  The environmental effects of the plan amendment are analyzed in the EIS.

The NOEP contains legal descriptions of the lands involved in the proposed exchange, objectives for the exchange, and ways to express concerns or comment on the proposal.

 Broken Wing Ranch along the Salmon River

Last updated: 08-11-2016