- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana environmental officials say a permit application for a proposed copper mine near a Smith River tributary is deficient.

Thursday’s rejection of Tintina Montana’s application by the Department of Environmental Quality is the second this year. The agency says the deficiencies include unfinished testing and incomplete data in the application.

The company will have an opportunity to address the problems and re-submit the application.

Tintina spokeswoman Nancy Schlepp says the company was expecting the DEQ’s response, and officials will answer the agency’s concerns.

The company wants an operating permit for an underground copper mine on private property near Sheep Creek north of White Sulphur Springs. Environmental groups worry the mine could damage water quality and potentially harm the Smith River.

Tintina officials say the mine tailings would be deposited at least a mile from the creek.

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