CODY, Wyo. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management has authorized a proposed bentonite mine project in northern Wyoming.

The federal bureau gave approval Monday for the plan by Wilson Brothers Construction Inc. to mine about 48 acres of federal land in the Diamond Basin area about 7 miles  southwest of Cody.

According to the bureau, the project expects to mine about 140,000 tons of bentonite over three to five years.

A group of area residents has opposed the project, citing concerns about potential health risks and the impact of mining traffic on roads.

The bureau released an environmental assessment in January, finding the project would not have a significant impact.

An assessment by the state Department of Environmental Quality is still pending.

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