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Feds reverse decision on gold mine drilling plans

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Federal forest managers say they are reversing an earlier decision giving a Canadian mining company permission to conduct exploratory drilling in the Payette National Forest.

The forest supervisor said Monday more time is needed to gather data on the kind of drilling proposed by Midas Gold in Valley County's historic Stibnite Mining District.

The Vancouver-based company is contemplating an open-pit gold mine in the area. In October, forest officials granted approval for the company to continue exploration, including drilling in 26 areas using 139 separate drill pads.

Forest officials now say they want more information on how the company's closed well drilling systems would impact ground water.

Environmental groups have voiced opposition to the project, saying it's too close and risky to some of Idaho's prized rivers and streams.