DEQ issues Montana Tunnels mine reclamation ultimatum

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality laid down the law last week, issuing a violation letter to the Montana Tunnels mine in Jefferson City.

The mine is considered officially abandoned or complete, the company owes a $16.8 million reclamation bond, and reclamation is overdue, said the DEQ.

Montana Tunnels Mining Inc. owns the once active gold, silver, zinc and lead mine in Jefferson County. If the company doesn’t respond and resolve the issues within 15 days of official receipt of the letter, the mine will forfeit ownership and the $19.7 million bond the state is currently holding.