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Montana to defend law in mining dispute over Lucky Minerals' Emigrant project

The Montana Attorney General's Office has stepped in to defend a state law at the center of a dispute over Lucky Minerals Inc.'s proposed Emigrant copper-gold-silver project, located in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Sept. 8.

A district judge ruled in May that a Montana Department of Environmental Quality review of Emigrant was flawed, but a 2011 amendment to the Montana Environmental Policy Act prevented the judge from blocking the project.

The Park County Environmental Council and Greater Yellowstone Coalition said the law violates Montana's constitution. The state's attorneys are expected to file a brief detailing their defense in October.

Lucky Minerals had drilling plans this summer but didn't push through as it has yet to pay a US$154,000 bond required to secure a license. Company Vice President Shaun Dykes told the newspaper in July that they'll wait for the dispute to be solved before paying the bond.