Information Center

Category Beyond the Project

What happens to the community after the mine is gone?

Typically, the additional tax revenues generated by a mine result in infrastructure upgrades that provide benefits to the community long after the mine closes. We also hope that citizens will use the increased prosperity they’ve enjoyed during the mining period to develop new opportunities for themselves.

What makes up the bonding process and how is a bond calculated?

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) establishes the bond amount. Over many years, the DEQ has gained a clear understanding of the costs required to close a mine. They calculate the bond amount based on 3rd party reclamation for the property and costs and they require Sandfire to post the full amount before it can begin mine construction.

What is a reclamation bond?

The State of Montana will require Sandfire to pay for a bond that covers the complete cost of reclamation before the mine can begin operation. This bonding level is reviewed every 5 years.

Who will pay the costs of reclamation?

Sandfire will carry out and pay for all reclamation activities during operations and following mine closure as required by law. As a safety net for the citizens of Montana, if for some unforeseen reason this cannot happen, the State of Montana requires mining companies to provide adequate reclamation bonding.

How will the site look after reclamation?

Sandfire will return all lands back to historic ranch use- primarily cattle grazing. The mill and portal area, and all roadways will be reclaimed with all buildings and facilities removed, and the plant site is taken down. The cemented tailings facility is sealed with a 100 mil liner and covered with 4 ft. of dirt, then top soil and grass. Underground will have the mined areas filled with cemented paste backfill and water tables will return to pre-mining levels.

How will tailings be managed on surface?

To protect our valuable water resources and the environment, Sandfire has designed a Cemented Tailings Facility (CTF) that improves on established practices by allowing for a solid, dust free facility. After filtering and squeezing out most of the water, tailings mixed with cement will be permanently stored in a 100 mil High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) double lined facility in a non-flowable state. There will be a pump back system placed in the bottom of the facility so that the small amount of water squeezed from the tailings as it sets up as well as any precipitation occurring on the facility is pumped into a double lined process water pond.Read More