Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Strip and Underground Mine Siting


82-4-103. Definitions. When used in this part, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Board" means the board of environmental review provided for in 2-15-3502.

(2) "Department" means the department of environmental quality provided for in 2-15-3501.

(3) "Mineral" means mineral as defined in 82-4-203.

(4) "New mine" means a strip- or underground-mining operation proposed for an area of land that the department determines, because of distance from an existing strip-mine or underground-mine operation or their respective facilities or because of important differences in topography, soils, wildlife, geologic structure, aquifers, or vegetation from an existing strip-mine or underground-mine operation, does not constitute an expansion of an existing operation.

(5) "Operation" means all of the premises, facilities, railroad loops, roads, power lines, and equipment used in the process of producing and removing mineral from a designated strip-mine or underground-mine area.

(6) "Operator" means a person who intends to operate a new strip mine or new underground mine involving the removal of more than 10,000 cubic yards of mineral or overburden.

(7) "Person" means a person, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity or any political subdivision or agency of the state.

(8) "Preparatory work" means all onsite disturbances, excluding prospecting, associated with the initiation of a new strip mine or underground mine, including but not limited to the construction of railroad spurs or loops, buildings to house mining operations, roads, storage and train load-out facilities, transmission lines, erection of draglines and loading shovels, and other associated facilities.

(9) "Strip mining" means any part of the process followed in the production of mineral by the opencut method, including mining by the auger method or any similar method that penetrates a mineral deposit and removes mineral directly through a series of openings made by a machine that enters the deposit from a surface excavation or any other method or process in which the strata or overburden is removed or displaced in order to recover the mineral.

(10) "Underground mining" means any part of the process that is followed in the production of a mineral and that uses vertical or horizontal shafts, slopes, drifts, or incline planes connected with excavations penetrating the mineral stratum or strata.

History: En. 50-1603 by Sec. 3, Ch. 280, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 441, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 50-1603; amd. Sec. 191, Ch. 575, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 361, Ch. 418, L. 1995.