BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that cancelled state approval for mining on private land north of Yellowstone National Park.

The unanimous ruling also found that lawmakers violated the state Constitution with a 2011 law that prevented district court judges from blocking projects even if environmental issues remain unresolved.

Lucky Minerals has been seeking to explore for gold, copper and other metals just north of Yellowstone near Chico.

Chief Justice Mike McGrath wrote in Tuesday's opinion that allowing mining to proceed while environmental reviews continued would be analogous to a mandatory aircraft inspection after takeoff.

 

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