From The Crested Butte News (Mark Reaman):
New owner, state, county and town all at the table
A giant step was taken this week toward finding a permanent solution to the idea of a molybdenum mining development on Mt. Emmons (also known as Red Lady), resolving environmental problems in that area, protecting the water treatment plant on the site, and possibly taking the idea of a mine off the table.
Further steps will be taken over the next couple of weeks, but state, local and federal officials describe the latest development as “exciting” and “optimistic,” with the potential to finally end the decades-old fight over a moly mine just west of Crested Butte.
U.S. Energy, the long-time owner and permit holder of the potential mine and water treatment plant on Red Lady, entered into an acquisition agreement with the Mt. Emmons Mining Company (MEMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. last Friday.
Freeport is one of the world’s largest copper, molybdenum and gold mining companies and is based in Phoenix, Ariz. It owns the Henderson and Climax molybdenum mines in Colorado.
MEMC essentially acquired U.S. Energy’s mine site, located about three miles outside of Crested Butte. The acquisition includes the Keystone Mine, the water treatment plant and other related properties including buildings, land and mining claims. U.S. Energy made the acquisition announcement on February 12.
Here’s US Senator Bennet’s release:
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement on the announcement that Freeport-McMoRan, through a subsidiary, has acquired the water treatment facility that treats the water that is released into Coal Creek and runs into Crested Butte. Freeport-McMoRan also has acquired the mining claims and mineral deposits on Mt. Emmons. The agreement was enshrined in a Memorandum of Understanding for Mt. Emmons, which has been signed by Crested Butte, Gunnison County, the State of Colorado, and Freeport-McMoRan.
“This agreement is a tremendous step forward for the community. It will help ensure the long-term stability of the water treatment facility and the future status of Mt. Emmons. The agreement would not have been possible without the diligent work of Crested Butte, Gunnison County, the state of Colorado, and Freeport-McMoRan.
“Freeport-McMoRan’s work ensures that water treatment of the acid mine drainage into Coal Creek will continue without interruption. The agreement also recognizes the community’s concerns about their future water supply and economy. Mt. Emmons is not an appropriate location for new mining activity, and this agreement moves us toward a final resolution of this issue.”