04 Dec Columbian: BLM OKs exploratory mining near Mount St. Helens
By Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published: December 3, 2018
The federal Bureau of Land Management said Monday it found proposed exploratory mining northeast of Mount St. Helens would present no significant environmental impact, bringing mining company Ascot USA a step closer to prospecting in the area.
The BLM’s decision would award Ascot two hard rock prospecting permits within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, about 12 miles northeast of Mount St. Helens and adjacent to and extending northeast from the boundary of the national volcanic monument.
Ascot’s plans call for drilling up to 63 roadside exploration holes, measuring 2 to 3 inches in diameter, to look for copper, silver, gold and molybdenum on a mining claim in the upper Green River Valley at Goat Mountain, where its subsurface rights are evenly split with the federal government.
The company first submitted in 2011 two applications for prospecting permits for approximately 900 acres on national forest land in northwestern Skamania County. Since the lands were purchased by or donated to the federal government, such mining is available for prospecting only with a BLM permit and the consent of the U.S. Forest Service.
The Forest Service gave its consent for exploratory mining in February.