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Ex-governor's group files claim in mining dispute

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A group of investors that includes former Gov. Brian Schweitzer has filed a $10 million compensation claim in federal court against a Washington state mining company.

Schweitzer's group said in Thursday's court filing that Mines Management, Inc. would face up to $70 million in additional costs if it could not access a huge silver and copper reserve by passing through the group's mining claim.

Mines Management chairman Glenn Dobbs says fair compensation would be far less than $10 million. He says the company will conduct an appraisal to determine a fair value.

Schweitzer is a director and investor in Optima Inc., which has rights, or claims, on underground parcels beneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness near Libby. Mines Management needs access to develop the proposed Montanore mine.

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