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County considers participation in Stibnite mine advisory group

Idaho County Courthouse

Photo by David Rauzi
Idaho County Courthouse

Midas Gold is working to establish an advisory council that would participate in the Forest Service process under which the company could gain the federal permit required for new production at the old Stibnite mine near Yellow Pine – a group that would write a comment letter regarding the project, and that would also participate in a new charitable foundation.

Midas would fund the foundation “starting today…tying the contributions to the profitability of the project,” Midas representative Anne LaBelle told the Idaho County Commission Oct. 23. “Essentially, it’s 1 percent of our after-tax profit.”

She said that can be expected to work out to about $1 million per year for civic amenities such as park renovations in the participating cities.

The commissioners have scheduled a public hearing at 10 a.m. Nov. 20, during which they will decide if the county will participate in the community agreement.

LaBelle provided a copy of the agreement and a summary to the commissioners; the Free Press has made the documents available online at

City of Riggins is accepting public comments on potential agreement with gold miner Midas

The City of Riggins released an information sheet Oct. 19, regarding the proposed Community Agreement, which will be a subject of the regular city council meeting on Nov. 14. At 6:30 p.m. that night, the council has planned to review written comments from the Riggins Community regarding the proposal.

The proposal calls for an agreement between Midas Gold and “the communities in Idaho’s west central mountains area,” according to the city’s information sheet.

“The Riggins City Council has participated in the process of drafting and scrutinizing the agreement to assure the Riggins community is represented and has an opportunity to discuss the potential and actual impacts of the Stibnite Project on the Riggins community,” the city stated on the sheet. “The Community Agreement is not an endorsement of the Stibnite Gold Project and does not contain any obligation to endorse the Stibnite Gold Project.”

Midas pursued and secured political support for the Stibnite Gold Project – a proposal to mine gold and clean up the old Stibnite Mine near Yellow Pine – in the form of a state legislature resolution in February.

The parties to the community agreement would participate in the Forest Service’s permitting process by way of writing a public comment letter.

“I would assume we would address some of our concerns, but also talk about some of the positives that we may see,” Riggins city councilor Roy Akins told the Free Press. “I’m not sure yet how many employees they have will actually live in the area. … It’s possible a lot of people could come in from quite a distance to work at the mine. We’d hope it would increase the population in this area, that some of the workers would choose to stay in the area.”

The company estimates 550 people would be employed directly for the project for up to 20 years, with roughly half of those to be on site at any one time.

Questions or comments for consideration at the Nov. 14 Riggins City Council meeting are being accepted at Riggins City Hall until 5 p.m. Nov. 14.

Midas has also sought participation from communities as small as Cascade – which has signed on – and as far south as McCall.


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