MORTON, Wash. — The U.S. Forest Service has accepted a Canadian company’s application to conduct exploratory mining about 12 miles (19 kilometers) northeast of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument boundary.

The Columbian reports (http://bit.ly/2xvV2QP ) the public will have 45 days to object the approval beginning Thursday.

Ascot Resources Ltd. plans to search for copper, gold and molybdenum, a compound commonly used in steel alloys due to its high melting point.

Cowlitz Valley District Ranger Gar Abbas acknowledged concerns that the approval could lead to new mine, but says officials only authorized 63 roadside exploration holes measuring 2-3 inches (5-7 centimeters) in diameter.

Matt Little, executive director of the Cascade Forest Conservancy, called the approval ridiculous. He says officials are ignoring tens of thousands of citizens who’ve asked to protect the Green River Valley.


Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com