The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comment on a draft environmental assessment for a shale-clay exploration project proposed by Ash Grove Cement Company near Montana City.

DEQ received an amendment to Ash Grove’s Exploration License on Oct. 11 to extract a 10,000-ton bulk sample of shale for chemical testing. The site is above Ash Grove’s existing Clark Gulch Quarry off Jackson Creek Road just west of Montana City.

In addition to the bulk sample, Ash Grove would construct an approximately one-mile haul road to access the test pit area and would complete four drill holes in the area.

DEQ prepared a draft Environmental Assessment to analyze potential impacts from the proposed project. The public is invited to submit comments on the draft EA until end of business on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. View the draft EA online at

Email comments to or mail them to Jake Mohrmann, Hard Rock Mining Program, Montana DEQ, 1520 E. 6th Ave., Helena, MT 59601.

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