7Up Pete (McDonald) Gold Mine


Not to be confused with Freestone
Had a rare chance to read a book cover to cover in short order during my travel to Russia and Ukraine last week. I had picked up a used copy of "One Round River" by Richard Manning months ago and, as has been the case with many books on my shelf, been unread. It's a story about the (then) proposed cyanide heap leach mine on the Blackfoot River and the struggle by many to oppose it from happening. It's absolutely incredible that, with the preponderance of evidence of this type of mining (the most glaring example in Butte), this could even be considered or supported by state legislators.

It was an excellent read, with great history about the antiquated mining laws, the ugly sides of the mining companies and the tactics they use to try and pull the wool over everyone's eyes. I would highly recommend the book.

Does anyone know the current fate of this mine? Best I could find is that it was last thwarted in 2005 as the companies permit to perform preliminary studies ran out -- but it goes on to suggest the company still plans to pursue this unbelievable rape of one of the west's greatest trout streams.
Ya. It's done. MT passed an initiative at the time that was primarily driven by this project. The initiative outlawed cyanide heap leaching, which was the proposed recovery method for the project. Because it's a relatively low-grade ore deposit, the low-cost heap leaching was they only way to make mining it profitable at that time. Because of the law, the public outcry, and the low grade, I doubt this deposit will ever be mined.


Not to be confused with Freestone
That's great to hear...really great. After reading the book I simply cannot imagine how the hell anyone with a functioning brain could allow this type of mining to take place. And, the fact that Montana residents took the necessary action to stop this is but one more example why I like the state, its politics and, of course, its rivers!

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