Building North America's Next Primary Cobalt Mine

May 2, 2012

Formation Capital Corporation, U.S. and Idaho Conservation League Announce 2012 Grantees of Conservation Action Program

An innovative cooperative effort between conservationists, local communities and a mining company will contribute $150,000 into enhancing natural resources in Idaho’s Lemhi County.

For immediate release
May 14, 2012 

Salmon, Idaho — The Idaho Conservation League and Formation Metals Inc.’s (FCO.TSX) (the Company) 100% owned subsidiary, Formation Capital Corporation, U.S. (Formation), announced the 2012 grantees for their Conservation Action Program (CAP) to protect clean water and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Salmon River area. This year, recipients include Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, Lemhi County Weed Cooperative Management Area, Lemhi Soil & Water Conservation District, Morgan Creek Cattle Association/Salmon Youth Employment Program, and the Lemhi County Economic Development Association.

The CAP was established in 2009 as a partnership between the Idaho Conservation League and Formation to benefit the Salmon River watershed. Each year, Idaho Conservation League and Formation request and select project proposals and Formation provides $150,000 in funding for those projects selected.

“We are pleased to work with more progressive mining companies such as Formation which is developing an underground cobalt mine near Salmon,” commented John Robison, Public Lands Director for the Idaho Conservation League. He continued, “Although mining will always affect the environment, Formation is taking encouraging steps to protect water quality at their Idaho Cobalt Mine and in partnering with the Idaho Conservation League, has demonstrated its commitment to programs that benefit the local watersheds and the communities that depend on them.”

Preston Rufe, Environmental Manager for Formation added, “We continue to support efforts which benefit the local community and all Idahoans. The CAP is a testament to Formation’s adherence to its principles of environmentally sound operations and in the sustainability of the local environment, its people and their economy.”

Trout Unlimited will use a portion of the grant on a fishery reconnection project on a tributary to the Pahsimeroi River, which is a tributary of the Salmon River. Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization with a mission to conserve, protect, and restore North America’s trout, salmon, and steelhead fisheries and the watersheds upon which they depend. 

The grant will also fund The Nature Conservancy’s continued work with farmers, ranchers and agencies to enhance critical fisheries habitat in the Upper Salmon River Watershed. The Lee Creek and Big Eightmile Creek Enhancement Project is designed to restore tributary connectivity to the Lemhi River and improve rearing habitat conditions and fish access in the lower reaches of Lee Creek and Big Eightmile Creek. The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

Lemhi County Weed Cooperative Management Area will use their grant monies to install an Undercarriage Invasive Species Rinse and Decontamination Station at the Industrial Park next to the County airport. The station will help clean invasive weed seeds from county, state and federal vehicles and remove aquatic invasive species from infested boats. The station will also be made available to private landowners during educational drives and special events. Lemhi Cooperative Weed Management Area’s goal is to bring together, all land owners (private, federal and state), who have responsibilities to control weeds within their boundaries and develop common weed control management.

Lemhi Soil & Water Conservation District will be restructuring an irrigation system in the Lemhi River Valley to improve water flows and remove barriers for the passage of threatened and endangered fish on Lemhi Little Springs Creek. The project includes the elimination of a 7-mile irrigation lateral ditch and the closure of three irrigation diversions and the piping of water through a livestock feeding operation to prevent corral runoff from entering nearby springs. The Lemhi Soil & Water Conservation District is a locally elected board which promotes agriculture and the conservation of natural resources.

The Morgan Creek Cattle Association will be constructing 2 miles of wildlife-friendly fence along Morgan Creek to improve water quality and fish habitat. The Association is proposing to use the local Youth Employment Program, Inc. to do the work. The Youth Employment Program is a non-profit corporation created to foster an atmosphere of educational development, and provide employment opportunities for young adults in local communities.

Lemhi County Economic Development Association will conduct a baseline inventory of fish habitat and watershed resources for the Salmon River along the City of Salmon. The Lemhi County Economic Development Association seeks to expand and enhance the economic viability of Lemhi County through developing partnerships, building infrastructure, and supporting initiatives that bring resources to the community.

The CAP is a result of an agreement made three years ago between the Idaho Conservation League and Formation regarding the Idaho Cobalt Project, located 20 miles west of Salmon. The underground mine is being designed and bonded to have no long term impacts on water quality in the area. The CAP fund is separate from planned reclamation at the mine site.

A number of federal funds are available for restoration projects in this area, but they are limited by matching money from private sources. CAP funding will help leverage one to three times the grant amount for most projects, amplifying the benefits. 

Management of both organizations are very grateful to former four-term Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus in helping them work together to focus on common interests to the ultimate benefit of the people of Idaho. Governor Andrus, a member of Formation’s Board of Directors and a strong supporter of the Idaho Conservation League, commented, “The Conservation Action Program is just the type of win-win situation that can happen when folks start working together. This program showcases the Idaho Conservation League’s common-sense approach to conservation and Formation’s firm commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Formation Metals Inc. is dedicated to the principles of environmentally sound mining and refining practices, and believes that environmental stewardship and mining can co-exist. The Company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FCO. The Idaho Conservation League, founded in 1973, is Idaho’s largest statewide conservation organization with a mission to preserve Idaho’s clean water, wilderness, and quality of life.

For further information please contact:

Preston Rufe, Environmental Manager
Formation Capital Corporation, U.S.
(208) 756-4578, ext. 24

John Robison, Public Lands Director
Idaho Conservation League
(208) 345-6942 ext. 13

We seek safe harbor.

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