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Updates to Idaho mining law signed by governor

photo of hecla mining

Lucky Friday, Hecla’s silver, zinc and lead mine in Mullan in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District. File photo.

Legislation rewriting portions of Idaho’s mining law has been signed into law by Gov. Brad Little.

Little signed the legislation Tuesday that’s backed by the Idaho Mining Association that updates the state’s nearly 50-year-old mining law.

Backers say the update is needed to protect the viability of Idaho mining from federal litigation, federal regulation and those opposed to mining.

Those opposed to the legislation say financial mechanisms intended to make sure companies pay for cleanup costs of abandoned mines could leave Idaho taxpayers with cleanup bills if a company declares bankruptcy.

On a related front, Idaho taxpayers are paying for ongoing cleanup at the Triumph Mine in central Idaho about 7 miles (11 kilometers) southeast and downstream of Sun Valley following the bankruptcy of a mining company there.

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