Judge asked to toss Schweitzer's mine claim - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Judge asked to toss Schweitzer's mine claim

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By MATTHEW BROWN
Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Washington state mining company wants a federal judge to throw out a $10 million compensation claim from a group of investors that includes former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Schweitzer's group controls mining rights needed by Mines Management Inc. to access a vast copper and silver reserve beneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness near Libby.

The two-term Democratic governor says $10 million is fair compensation for what the mining rights are worth.

But in recent court filings, attorneys for Spokane-based Mines Management described the compensation figure as outrageous and accused Schweitzer and his partners of attempting "a shakedown" of the company.

The company asked U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen to reject the compensation claim.

Mines Management attorney Mark Stermitz said Friday the two sides are in discussions over how to resolve the dispute.

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