MT Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Black Butte Mine

February 26, 2024 By: Spencer Durrant

smith river

Photo: Bitterroot/Flickr

The Montana Supreme Court issued a ruling in favor of Black Butte Copper Mine late on Monday, February 26. This ruling allows Black Butte to build an underground mine along Sheep Creek, which is a tributary of Montana’s famous Smith River, per KTVH Helena.

The Smith River is highly regarded in angling circles, and floating is allowed only via permit, which anglers have to draw well in advance. The Smith is a freestone river that’s largely still pristine.

Trout Unlimited, on Instagram, stated after this ruling that “We are stunned and saddened to share that today, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Black Butte Mine in the Smith River. … The Australian-owned Tintina Company will now be reissued its permit to build an industrial copper mine along the most important trout tributary to the Smith River.”

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