Montana Cyanide Process Open Pit Mining Prohibition, I-137 (1998)

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The Montana Cyanide Process Open Pit Mining Prohibition Initiative, also known as I-137, was on the November 3, 1998 ballot in Montana as an initiated state statute, where it was approved. The measure prohibited new open-pit gold and silver mines that used heap and vat cyanide leach processing.[1][2]

Election results

Montana I-137 (1998)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 169,991 52.30%
No155,03447.70%

Election results via: Montana Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:[3]

Cyanide leach mineral processing is the procedure used in mining operations that applies a cyanide-based solution over gold or silver ore to remove the precious metals from the waste rock, so the metals can be recovered. This measure would prohibit new open-pit gold and silver mines in Montana that use heap and vat cyanide leach processing. Any open-pit mines currently operating and permitted to use cyanide leach processing could continue to do so, but this measure would prohibit any expansion of these mines. If approved, this measure would be effective immediately. If approved, Montana would potentially lose taxes and royalties from new or expanded mining development. There would also be a potential reduction in the number of new mining jobs in Montana. However, the potential for state environmental liabilities may be reduced if cyanide leach mineral processing is eliminated.

[4]

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