BLM releases analysis of bentonite mining expansion in Big Horn County

CODY, Wyo. – The Bureau of Land Management has analyzed a proposed bentonite mining expansion project in Big Horn County, ten miles northwest of Lovell. The BLM Cody Field Office will accept comments on the environmental assessment through June 10, 2022.

American Colloid Company plans to expand its current mining operations by 235 acres, including 119.5 acres of BLM-managed federal land. The proposed expansion would provide an estimated 129,000 tons of bentonite from public lands over the life of the project and would continue to employ approximately 15 mine employees, and 100 mill and contract employees.

America’s multiple-use public lands support countless communities, providing jobs and economic development for millions of Americans. 

“Mining projects like these continue to create jobs and serve our local communities, while ensuring the sustainable use of public lands for the benefit of all Americans,” said Cody Field Manager Cade Powell. 

Bentonite is a volcanic clay used in dozens of industrial applications, including oil and gas drilling, construction, paints, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and other consumer products.¬

The environmental assessment, as well as the mine and reclamation plans submitted by American Colloid Company, are available for public review by visiting the BLM ePlanning site at, and in person at the BLM Cody Field Office, 1002 Blackburn Street. 

The comment period runs from May 12 through June 10, 2022. Comments may be submitted on the ePlanning site or mailed to AFM Minerals and Lands, BLM-Cody Field Office, 1002 Blackburn Street, Cody, WY, 82414. 

For more information, please contact BLM Geologist Lisa Marks at 307-578-5900. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Cody Field Office


Lisa Marks
Sarah Beckwith