BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The head of Atlanta Gold Corp. says losing a court battle with environmentalists and paying a $2 million fine might have been a good thing after all. Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled that Atlanta Gold was liable for pollution flowing from a historic mine tunnel into a tributary of the Boise River system and ordered the company to fix the problems.

Now, Atlanta Gold CEO Ernie Simmons tells the Idaho Statesman losing the case and paying the fine probably saved the company time and money over the long term. In recent months, Simmons says the company has taken steps to clean up the water and plans other fixes aimed at avoiding lingering pollution problems at the site in the mountains northeast of Boise.