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Background and Summary
Stibnite Mine site is a historic mining district located along the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River near Yellow Pine, Idaho. The site lies 3 miles from the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Midas Gold, a Canadian mining company, proposes to reopen the site to access an estimated 6.5 million ounces of gold, as well as massive quantities of antimony.
Proponents of the project claim that there will be socioeconomic and environmental benefits to approving the Stibnite project; job creation and restoration of the Stibnite Mine site.

“The ecosystem at the Stibnite Gold Project site is in need of healing; our plan is as much about restoring the site as it is about mining it. Redevelopment will allow us to generate enough capital so we can properly take care of the environment. Fish haven’t been able to swim past the historic Yellow Pine pit since 1938, almost no top soil can be found in the area, due to extensive erosion, and millions of tons of sediment are running into the waterways, degrading water quality and fish habitat. Leaching of metals like arsenic and antimony from historic tailings, waste dumps and workings also impact water quality. Our plan will address these impacts and we’ve designed the project so a lot of the restoration work will occur early on.” -Midas Gold

“...the Stibnite Gold Project will create around 500 direct well-paying jobs for Idahoans and add considerably to the regional, state and national economies. Direct, indirect and induced federal taxes are estimated at more than $500 million and state and local taxes are estimated at more than $200 million over the construction and operating life of the mine. During that same period of time, annual employee wages at the site are predicted to be two times the local and state average. Employment opportunities will continue during restoration and ongoing monitoring of conditions at the site, once it closes.” -Midas Gold

Opponents of the project feel that the risks associated with the reopening of Stibnite Mine are too high. Potential impacts include an increased footprint at the site itself, new road construction, threats to water quality, air quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and wilderness character. 

“The Stibnite Gold Project is a gigantic open pit, surface mine in the headwaters of the East Fork South Fork Salmon River. Midas Gold plans to re-disturb the current mine site and excavate an additional 800 acres of currently undisturbed wildlife habitat with three (3) enormous mining pits. Two (2) of these pits, will be left on the landscape in perpetuity. Midas Gold also plans to fill three (3) valleys with 450 million tons of mine tailing and waste rock and, build a 26-foot-wide access road through three current roadless areas, along the boundary of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.” -Dig For the Truth

“Many are concerned because mining doesn’t exactly have the best track record on protecting water quality or fisheries...In addition to the direct negative effects of burying streams under tailings or waste rock piles, heavy metals mobilized from mining activities can enter surface or groundwater and contaminate water supplies, killing or substantially impairing fisheries far downstream. So when a brand new mining company comes along making the same promises that previous mining companies were unable to meet, many folks are justifiably skeptical.” -Idaho Conservation League
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