BURLEY, Idaho (KLIX)-A mining company has proposed plans to expand drilling exploration at a Cassia County mine in southern Idaho.

The Sawtooth National Forest announced in late February that Pilot Gold has proposed to expand mineral exploration drilling sites at the former Black Pine gold mine in the Black Pine Mountains just north of the Idaho and Utah state line. According to the Forest Service, the proposal would have an additional 154 exploratory drilling sites with 15 miles of new roads to reach the drill sites.

According to the Forest Service, Pilot began exploratory drilling in the spring of 2019 and ran through December of 2019. The drilling found two "mineralized zones" which resulted in the request to expand exploratory drilling in untouched areas.

The Forest Service said it will need to do a new environmental assessment on the new proposal to determine if additional environmental protections will need to be put in place if approved. The Forest Service will also need to update the Sawtooth National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan with an amendment for this specific proposal.

The Forest Service will be taking public comment on this proposal until March 20, 2020. For more details on the overall project and the new proposal for additional exploratory drilling sites, visit the Project Page; information on how to submit a comment is also available.

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