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Hecla's Rock Creek project

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A state judge has revoked the water permit for a silver and copper mine proposed beneath a northwestern Montana wilderness area.

Judge Kathy Seeley said in a recent order that state officials didn’t adequately consider potential damage to nearby streams from Hecla Mining Co.’s Rock Creek Mine.

Environmental groups represented by Earthjustice argued streams within the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness are so ecologically valuable that they deserve the greatest protections available under law.

Rock Creek would employ about 300 people and cover almost 500 acres.

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Montana regulators in a separate case have asked a judge to block Idaho-based Hecla CEO Phillips Baker Jr. from exploring or opening new mines. They allege he’s in violation of the state’s “bad actor” law because of ongoing pollution from a mining company where Baker once worked.

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