BOISE -- A judge has ordered the U.S. Forest Service to revisit decisions made when officials signed off on a Canadian mining company's plans to expand exploratory drilling in the mountains near Idaho City.
U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge issued a ruling Thursday that essentially vacates the environmental assessment produced by the agency on the CuMo Mine project.
Lodge concluded the agency acted arbitrarily in determining that expanded drilling would not significantly impact groundwater sources.
The decision deals a timing setback to Mosquito Consolidated Gold Mines Ltd., a Canadian company seeking to drill 260 exploratory new holes to get a better sense of the area's molybdenum, copper and tungsten deposits.
The Forest Service approved the company's expanded drilling project last year.
But the Idaho Conservation League filed a lawsuit challenging that decision.