BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Canadian mining company says it has reached an agreement with a Chinese company bringing in $700 million in financing for a possible open-pit molybdenum mine 37 miles northeast of Boise.

Vancouver, British Columbia,-based American CuMo Mining Corporation in an announcement this week says the agreement is with Hong Kong-based MCC8 Group Company Limited. CuMo Mining says the agreement is a major step in paying for a feasibility study, but the deal keeps local control with its subsidiary, Idaho CuMo Mining Corporation.

The company says there are at least 2 billion tons and possibly 4 billion tons of molybdenum, copper and silver worth up to $60 billion at current prices. Three environmental groups in January filed a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. Forest Service's approval of the company's exploratory drilling.

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