As expected, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Thursday announced it has approved two prospecting permits for mineral exploration in the Goat Mountain area, about 12 miles northeast of Mount St. Helens.
The permits will allow Ascot Resources, a Canadian prospecting company, to drill 63 holes at 23 sites as part of an effort to determine whether deposits of copper and other precious metals are present in sufficient quantities to make mining profitable.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Forest Service, which has joint jurisdiction over the land in question, announced that it, too, approved Ascot’s exploration permit.
Ascot will likely begin test drilling in summer 2013. The permits are not approval to build a mine, which would have to go through a separate process.