The company plans to drill 10 to 15 test holes on the leased property by mid-summer to help determine the quality of the phosphate reserves. It promised to assess any drilling done be previous leaseholders and remediate those areas according to state and company standards.
Even if the company determines that the sites are financially and environmentally viable for development, Wilde said mining wouldn't actually occur until "well into the next decade."
"It's a rather long process and it's a staged process," he said. "At each stage we have to look at it and say does it make sense, is it viable and is it going to proceed."
"Consultation with the community is a very important part of this process," he added.
But Thomson said regardless what Utah Phosphate's site surveys show, if the company tries to open a mine near Ashley Spring, "they will definitely have a fight on their hands."
Contributing: Amy Joi O'Donoghue
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