The Western News: Tester takes detailed look at Troy Mine operation

After a visit to Troy Mine on Friday, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said he was impressed with the operation — good news for officials who want to gain support for Rock Creek, a proposed mine that they say would emulate Troy.

“To look at these mines to see firsthand what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, what the environmental impacts are I think is critically important,” Tester said, “especially as we talk about moving forward with new opportunities in mining.”

Tester, accompanied by his wife, Sharla, spoke with workers and management, toured the mill, and learned about the mine’s process, history and economic and environmental impacts during his 2-1/2 hour visit Friday morning.

Tim Lindsey, board chairman of Troy Mine’s parent company, Revett Minerals, also described the serious economic challenges that the mine has overcome since mineral prices plummeted less than two years ago. The company cut wages and narrowly avoided permanent closure and the laying off of about 180 workers. Lindsey expressed hope now that mineral prices have stabilized and the company has found ways to better manage its debt and work more efficiently.

“We now can live to fight another day,” he said as he explained that wages and benefits have been restored.

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