Bureau of Land Management Proposes Additional Land Withdrawal at Zortman-Landusky Mine Reclamation Site

(MALTA, Mont.) – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing a withdrawal of more than 900 acres at the Zortman-Landusky Mine reclamation area, in addition to the lands previously proposed for withdrawal on October 7, 2020. The total acreage of the two withdrawals would cover approximately the same area as the previous 20-year withdrawal that expired in 2020.

“Proposing to withdraw this additional area is responsive to comments we received from the Ft. Belknap Tribes and the public,” said Acting Montana/Dakotas State Director Theresa Hanley. “We developed an alternative in our Environmental Assessment that considers this additional withdrawal.”

The BLM proposed a withdrawal and two-year segregation of 2,688.13 acres in October 2020. This newly proposed withdrawal of 912.33 acres would limit new mining or disturbance of these additional acres of public land while providing the BLM time to assess and monitor the effectiveness of ongoing reclamation activities and ensure public safety. This requires the publication of an additional Federal Register notice and another opportunity for public comment.

Approximately $83.7 million in reclamation bonds and State of Montana and BLM funding have been spent since 1999 to fund site reclamation and water treatment plant operations after the mine operator declared bankruptcy and abandoned the mines in 1998.

The publication of the notice in the Federal Register closes 912.33 acres of land from appropriation under the public land laws, including location and entry under the United States mining laws for up to two years, subject to valid existing rights. This closure will protect the lands and facilitate reclamation efforts at the Zortman and Landusky mines.

The BLM is seeking public input on this proposed withdrawal. Public comments will be accepted for 90 days following the Federal Register notice publication https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/06/06/2022-12103/notice-of-proposed-withdrawal-and-public-meeting-montana. A virtual Zoom meeting to provide for public comment will be held June 21, 2022, at 4 p.m. (Mountain Time) https://blm.zoomgov.com/j/1616502018?pwd=d1hHenZNdnk2ZmhqY0tPaFUxMUFaUT09, Meeting ID: 161 650 2018, Passcode: 544914.

 

– BLM –


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.

Publication Date

Organization

Bureau of Land Management

District/Field Office

Malta Field Office

Contact

Name:
Gina Baltrusch
Phone: