2.2 million raised to repeal cyaninde leach mine banPublished by MAC on 2004-10-19
By Jennifer McKee - IR State Bureau
19th October 2004
Helena - The out-of-state mining company behind an effort to repeal Montana's ban on cyanide leach mining gave nearly $850,000 to the effort - an average of about $23,000 every day - over the past five weeks, state records filed Monday show.
Miners, Merchants and Montanans for Jobs and Economic Opportunity, the group formed to promote Initiative 147, has raised a total of $2.2 million with 98 percent of that coming from one Colorado mining company, Canyon Resources Corp., state records show. Canyon gave $848,005 in both cash and in-kind donations between Sept. 7 and Oct. 13, according to information filed with the state commissioner of political practices. The company has given $2.16 million so far
I-147 would repeal a 1998 citizen-passed ban on cyanide leach mining, restore the mineral leases lost since the ban passed and require new environmental safeguards.
Canyon wanted to build a large cyanide leach gold mine near Lincoln when voters outlawed the practice.
Foes of I-147, a group called Save the Blackfoot, raised $212,138 in the past five weeks, an average of about $5,700 every day. They have spent $195,117.
About a third of Save the Blackfoot's money came from Montana Trout Unlimited, which gave just over $69,000 in cash and in-kind donations.
A second group opposed to I-147, called Montanans for Common Sense Mining Laws, raised $71,277 in the last month, records show, an average of about $1,900 a day. The group has spent $52,188.
The I-147 campaign has heated up recently, with both sides running television advertisements and sending large, glossy postcards to voters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.