Gold mine proposed

Yellowstone begins reopening

A gold mining operation west of Yellowstone National Park is coming under fire from local conservation groups who have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service over the agency’s approval to expand the operation.

Canadian mining company Excellon Resources plans to build a gold mine in a 16,700-acre area of national forest north of Kilgore about 35 miles west of Island Park. The Idaho Conservation League and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition are opposed to the mining company’s five-year plan.

They say Excellon will extract the gold with a cyanide heap leach mining technique, which could pose a risk to the nearby waterways that supply drinking water for the Eastern Snake Plain aquifer. The groups also say the Kilgore project construction will hurt the habitat for local wildlife in the area.

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