Bureau of Land Management releases analysis of bentonite mining project in Hot Springs County

WORLAND, Wyo. – As part of its commitment to responsibly developing our energy and natural resources, the Bureau of Land Management has analyzed a proposed bentonite mining project located in Hot Springs County. The BLM Worland Field Office will accept comments on the environmental assessment through January 19, 2021.

“The BLM analyzes and supports the development of sustainable mining projects like this for the benefit of the local community and economy,” said BLM Worland Field Manager Mike Phillips.

Wyo-Ben, Inc. plans to mine bentonite from claims located approximately 12-14 miles northwest of Thermopolis on BLM-managed federal land. The plan of operations submitted by Wyo-Ben includes approximately 567 acres of mining and haul road disturbance. The proposed plan would provide an estimated 700,000 tons of bentonite from public lands over the life of the project and would continue to employ approximately 20 mine employees, 35 mill employees and additional subcontractors.

As public land stewards, the BLM manages public lands for multiple uses, and mining is a critical use that continues to create jobs and serve local communities. 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 EA is available for public review and comment at the BLM’s online NEPA Register at https://go.usa.gov/x7MQk. The plan of operations submitted by Wyo-Ben is available for review at the BLM Worland Field Office, 101 South 23rd Street.

The comment period runs from December 21, 2020, through January 19, 2021. Comments may be submitted online or emailed to worland_wymail@blm.gov.

For more information, please contact BLM Geologist Joe Scyphers at 307-347-5100.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Worland Field Office


Joe Scyphers
Sarah Beckwith