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By Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press

MT issues $500k fine for alleged mining activity at Superfund site

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has levied a $516,567 fine for alleged illegal mining activity at the former Zortman-Landusky Mining District, which is in the midst of long-term reclamation efforts to mitigate acid mine drainage.

The penalty is accompanied by an order directing property owner Luke Ployhar and Owen Voigt, a mining consultant employed by Ployhar, to stop all mining exploration activities until appropriate licenses have been obtained, complete with a bond to cover the costs of future reclamation. It also directs Ployhar, Voigt, and their respective companies, Blue Arc, LLC and Legacy Mining, LLC, to submit a reclamation plan for land that was disturbed at eight sites within the mining district, which was mined extensively in the 1980s and 1990s before Pegasus Gold Corporation’s 1998 bankruptcy.

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