BLM seeks public comment on two mining plans of operation |

BLM seeks public comment on two mining plans of operation

The BLM is looking for comments from the public regarding two separate Mining Plans of Operation for Bentonite mining in Southern Carbon County. These Plans of Operation will be available to the public for review and comments on Oct. 14.

Bentonite is absorbent clay that has been formed by the breakdown of volcanic ash and is used as filler in many products used for industrial purposes.

The American Colloid Company (ACC) and Wyo-Ben , Inc., have submitted complete Plans of Operations to mine in southern Carbon County, Montana. The potential areas of disturbance are located in a Priority Habitat Management Area for Sage Grouse. As part of the environmental analysis, the BLM will accept comments from the public Oct. 14 through Nov. 18.

Mining would occur in a series of concurrently reclaimed pits. As overburden is removed from the front of the advancing pit, it is placed into the previously mined pit, commonly referred to as a “cast back” mining. Overburden is only handled once using this method, increasing efficiency and allowing reclamation of disturbed land to occur sooner than traditional mining methods.

The NEPA Project Summary for the Wyo-Ben Plans of Operations, DOI-BLM-MT-A010-2016-0038-EA, can be found at The NEPA Project Summary for the ACC Amendment 5 Plans of Operations, DOI-BLM-MT-A010-2016-0037-EA, can be found at

The public is encouraged to mail substantive comments regarding these mining Plans of Operation to: Billings Field Office, Attention: Craig Drake, 5001 Southgate Dr., Billings, MT 59101. For more information contact the BLM Billings Field Office at 406-896-5013.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, please be advised that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request. Therefore, do not include information you do not want to be made public.


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