The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith

OUR VIEW: Our View: Hopefully exploration a positive


In late March, Barrick Gold officials announced a final mill run has been scheduled for May at the Golden Sunlight Mine in Whitehall.

This was certainly tough news to take for the community. The Golden Sunlight Mine has been such an important part of the local economy. The tax revenue generated by the mine as well as jobs created have been a huge asset to Whitehall and the surrounding area. The mine has also time and time again played a huge role in making the Whitehall area a better place to live. They have always been at the forefront of donating to local organizations and other donations for the benefit of the community. They have been a good neighbor. They not only do the right thing environmentally, they go above and beyond to give back.

Looking to the future, the announcement from the company also stated that they will continue with their exploration efforts both above and underground, as well as the possible processing of historic tailings.

Pictured is a group on tour at the Golden Sunlight Mine.

Hopefully the continued exploration at the mine will generate some positive news and extend the life of mine several years into the future. At a Community Transition Advisory Committee meeting last month, Mine General Manager Dan Banghart said that anytime there are drilling rigs at a location it is a good sign. The fact they are still exploring should be thought of as a positive.

The monthly CTAC meeting has also served as a way for the mine to communicate with local leaders and residents and this will continue no matter what happens with exploration efforts.

If the mine does not move forward with any projects, this meeting will play a much bigger role and allow officials to discuss the next steps moving forward with closure. Hopefully that isn't the case for awhile.


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