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Comments sought on copper drilling

U.S. Forest Service reviews proposal by Canadian firm

— Area residents will have an opportunity Monday to hear more information about a Canadian company’s proposal to drill for copper in the Flagg Mountain area north of town.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Winthrop Barn, 51 state Highway 20. A public comment period is open until Saturday.

Information will be provided by the Methow Valley Ranger District and Discovery Consultants, based in Vernon, B.C. The firm represents Blue River Resources of Vancouver, B.C.

“We are in the in the process of gathering input about the proposal for minerals exploration,” District Ranger Michael Liu said. “This meeting is an opportunity to better describe the proposal to those who are interested and to talk about the statutory framework that the Forest Service operates under.”

The U.S. Forest Service is currently reviewing the proposal for potential environmental impacts and any mitigation measures that might be required.

Blue River Resources plans to set up 15 drill sites, with holes up to 1,900 feet deep, to operate day and night. A diamond drill mounted on skids would be transported on a low bed trailer and pushed around between sites using a dozer. If all goes according to plan, drilling could begin in August.

Blue River Resources has a legal right to search for copper on federal lands, according to the General Mining Law of 1872, as amended and under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.

The company’s website says the area is a “historic copper resource of 149 million tons grading 0.36 (percent) copper or approximately 1 billion (pounds) of copper.”

It sits on the south portion of the Quesnel Trough, one of the largest copper belts in the world.

The deposit was drilled from 1970-1974 by Inspiration Development and Quintana Minerals Corp., but the project was put on the back burner due to dropping copper prices at the time, according to Blue River Resources.

Blue River’s near-term plans include a magnetic survey and detailed surface mapping and sampling, the company said.

“Surface sampling in the Flagg Mountain zone is a high priority as a 60 ton bulk sample grading 0.10 ounces per ton gold was reportedly mined from this area in 1918,” the company stated. “Blue River’s exploration program focus is to develop drill targets to confirm and expand the historic copper resource of 1 billion pounds of copper.”

Blue River filed its permit application Aug. 15, 2013 and acquired a 100 percent interest in the project in February this year.


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