Libby chamber writes letter of support for proposed mines

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The Libby Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 15 released a letter of support for two mines being proposed by Hecla Mining Company.

“The letter affirms Libby Chamber of Commerce support for the expeditious analysis of the issues surrounding final approval of the Montanore and Rock Creek mining proposals that are of critical importance to the economic future of northwest Montana,” states a news release.

The letter itself states that “the potential employment opportunities (at the mines) are essential to the socio-economic health of Libby. We know that the development of these modern mining projects can and should be accomplished without harm to our environment.”

Chamber Board Member Brice Vincent said in a follow-up email that the letter is being sent to everyone in Washington, D.C. that a local delegation met with in late July.

“The hope of the Chamber is to have the agencies involved (U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Forest Service) continue to prioritize the projects,” Vincent wrote. “The support of the community is important for both the agencies and Hecla.”

In an earlier report, Vincent characterized the delegation — comprised of Vincent, along with Libby Public Schools Superintendent Craig Barringer, Lincoln County Commissioner Jerry Bennett, Sanders County Commissioner Carol Brooker, Kootenai River Development Council Executive Director Tina Oliphant, and W. F. Morrison Elementary Principal Diane Rewerts — as “an outstanding cross-section of the local citizenry and each one of them did an incredible job of telling the story of our area and the importance of these two projects.”

Vincent wrote in his email that “movement has been slow ... but steady” since the delegation’s trip to the nation’s capitol.

“I am making a round of calls this week to get updates,” he wrote.

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