BOVILL, Idaho – Plans are nearly complete for building and operating an open-pit clay mine near this Latah County town, a Canadian mining company official said.
Lamar Long of i-minerals, Inc. said the company is a few weeks away from finishing plans for diverting streams and other mitigation needed to meet permit requirements from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“We’re trying to finalize some of the issues with where the plant is going to go and other things so that we can present it to the state and the Corps of Engineers,” Long told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. “Once we get that finalized then hopefully things should move more quickly.”
The company wants to mine clay, feldspar and quartz on about 4,500 acres of state-owned land in eastern Latah County. In 2004 the company received 10 mineral leases from the Idaho Department of Lands.
Feldspar, quartz and clay can be used for paint, ceramics, brick, glass, tile and paper.
The company’s president, Roger Kauffman, said the quartz, clay and feldspar at the Bovill-area site are relatively pure, and the property contains 60 percent to 80 percent feldspar.
In August, the company submitted an application to the corps for a 20-year permit that would allow it to divert waterways and discharge fill material into wetlands. In September, corps officials suggested the company pull its application because it didn’t contain enough detail.
But the company was able to provide enough detail for the permit process to go forward.
Long said the project could create up to 50 jobs in the Bovill area with the mine and a processing plant the company also wants to build.