Montana Open-pit Mining, I-147 (2004)
The Montana Open-pit Mining Initiative, also known as I-147, was on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Montana as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated. The measure would have allowed new mines to use cyanide leach processing at open-pit gold and silver mines.
|Montana I-147 (2004)|
Election results via: Montana Secretary of State
Text of measure
The text of the measure can be read here.
The initiative was sponsored primarily by Canyon Resources, a Colorado mining company who funded the campaign organization Miners, Merchants and Montanans for Jobs and Economic Opportunity For I-147. The official argument for the initiative was prepared by Senator Debbie Shea, Montana GOP Committeewoman Betti Hill and Don Serba. They argued that the 1998 ban on the use of the cyanide in mining in Montana had far-reaching, negative effects on the state's economy. They also assured voters that the initiative would require miners to comply with strict new environmental regulations.
I-147 was opposed by Montana Conservation Voters, who argued that the cyanide-leach mining technology fails to protect the private property rights of adjoining landowners, exposes taxpayers to clean-up costs, and causes both ground and surface waters to be poisoned, posing a threat to public health, trout and other aquatic life. They also claimed that the so-called "new" environmental regulations had, in fact, already failed at mines in Montana. They also argued that Section 2 of the initiative grants a "special deal" to Canyon Resources.
The group also disagreed with the argument that the 1998 ban on cyanide-leach mining hurt Montana's economy, citing the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research's findings that there were more mining jobs in Montana in 2004 than before the ban.
Major donors who were proponents of the measure include Miners Merchants and Montanans for Jobs and Economic Opportunity, who spent a total of $3,785,578 towards the proposed amendment.
Groups opposing the measure included Save the Blackfoot Vote No On I-47, who spent $419,903, and Montanans for Common Sense Mining Laws-Against I-47, who spent $114,313 towards the campaign against the proposed amendment.
- Montana 2004 ballot measures
- 2004 ballot measures
- List of Montana ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Montana
- Montana Secretary of State, "Historical Ballot Initiatives and Referenda," accessed August 5, 2014
- Montana Secretary of State, "Archive Publications," accessed August 5, 2014
- Montana Secretary of State, "2004 Montana Voter Information Pamphlet," accessed August 5, 2014
- NoCyanide.org Opposition Site FAQ
- Follow the Money, Montana I-47 Amendment Donations
State of Montana
List of Montana ballot measures | Local measures | School bond issues | Ballot measure laws | Initiative laws | History of I&R | History of direct democracy | Campaign Finance Requirements | Recall process |
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Director of the Department of Revenue | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Securities and Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources and Conservation | Commissioner of Labor and Industry | Public Service Commission |
|historical ballot measure article requires that the text of the measure be added to the page.|