GCC Plans Exploration Drilling in Montana

Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC) is seeking permission from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to exploratory drill in the foothills of the Pryor Mountains near the Montana-Wyoming border for gypsum, reported the Billings Gazette.

The McKamy exploration project proposes to utilize a Geosonic drill rig to drill 10 holes up to 70 ft. deep just south of Gyp Springs Road and to the west of its intersection with Crooked Creek Road in southern Carbon County, Mont. According to the project’s draft environmental assessment, the “work would be conducted during daylight hours and is expected to be completed in one to two weeks.”

To mitigate potential damage to fossil resources in the proposed project area, the BLM is requiring that a paleontology consultant be present during any ground disturbing activities, other than the actual drilling. The region is also home to rare plants such as the Thick-Leaf Bladderpod. The company has included “a mitigation measure to have a botanist on site during construction to identify and avoid [the plant],” noted the BLM in its Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

The agency’s FONSI concluded that a more detailed environmental impact statement is not required. The decision was based on the fact that the disturbance area will be small, less than seven acres in total, and the landscape will be reclaimed once the drilling is completed.

Public comments on the environmental assessment are being taken until Nov. 5. To participate, click here.

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