Company applies for mining permit in Skagit River headwaters

SEATTLE (AP) — A Canadian company has applied for an exploratory gold and copper mining permit in the headwaters of the Skagit River, which flows from British Columbia and through northwest Washington state to Puget Sound.

The Seattle Times reports Imperial Metals has applied to drill for mineral deposits for as many as five years, according to a document describing the project, released Wednesday.

The company is well known in Canada because of an environmental disaster at its Mount Polley mine, when a dam there failed and allowed billions of gallons of gold- and copper-mining waste to flood into local waterways.

The Skagit River is one of the premier salmon-producing rivers for Puget Sound, and its waters churn through hydropower dams to bring the city of Seattle much of its electricity. Its upper waters are home to endangered bull trout.