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Hecla sues Montana, denies responsibility for US$30M cleanup bill

Hecla Mining Co. is suing Montana environmental regulators for labeling the company and its top executive "bad actors," Mining.com reported March 26.

The state's Department of Environmental Quality recently said the company will need to pay US$30 million to resolve a bill for pollution cleanup.

The company was charged because President and CEO Phillips Baker had been employed by Pegasus Gold Corp., which left the state with a huge bill for pollution cleanup. Pegasus operated three mines in Montana that polluted waterways and went bankrupt in 1998.

Hecla is now developing two silver-copper mines in the state.

Hecla Vice President for External Affairs Luke Russell had said the company has no direct connection with Pegasus, as the applications for the projects were filed by two subsidiaries.