HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday, as they consider whether to uphold a lower court ruling that said the state improperly issued a permit for a planned copper mine near White Sulphur Springs.

In 2020, environmental groups – including Montana Trout Unlimited, Montana Environmental Information Center, Earthworks and American Rivers – filed a legal challenge against the operating permit for the Black Butte Copper Project. They argued the Montana Department of Environmental Quality hadn’t done enough analysis on the possible impacts of the mine before issuing the permit.