Montana Resources restoring land damaged by mining in Butte

Posted at 9:16 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 23:16:08-04

BUTTE –  Montana Resources is good at pulling things out of the ground but they’re also putting plants back as part of their reclamation efforts.

“You know, it is a way to be a good neighbor to our community and make things look as nice as we can,” said Montana Resources Vice President of Environmental Affairs Mark Thompson.

MR is in the process of restoring about 90 acres of land that was the dump site for waste rock. The site, which is just west of Interstate 15, is being covered with topsoil and will be seeded with native plants.

“This is a mixture of a bunch of different grasses. It’s a pretty diverse seed mix. It’s got a native species in it. It’s really designed to look like a natural hillside here in Butte,” said Thompson.

MR hired Intermountain Construction to do this reclamation work, which the mining company is required to do by law.

“We’re hoping to get all this done this year, but, you know, we have to think about the seeding here before the snow flies, so at some point we’re going to have to cut it off, seed what we have, and if we don’t get it all, come back and finish it next year,” said Thompson.

Healthy black soil is covering up the waste rock that they will seed, and hopefully, vegetation will grow as part of Montana Resources plan to beautify the whole area, which is highly visible from the interstate.

“People coming in from out-of-state and driving by. It looks a lot better reclaimed than it did unreclaimed. That’s important. It’s important to cover up that waste rock and protect it from the weather and the elements, and it’s the right thing to do,” Thompson said.

MR has already reclaimed 40 acres of the 90-acre project.