Ascot Resources' American arm Ascot USA has expressed disappointment with the ruling given by the Oregon District Court over its Mt Margaret property, saying it would delay the project commencement.
The property, which is a copper-molybdenum-gold-silver deposit in the St Helens Mining District of Skamania County of Washington, was bought by Ascot Resources in March 2010 from General Moly.
However, Oregon-based environmentalist group Gifford Pinchot Task Force (GPTF) has appealed to the US Forest Service, raising objections to Ascot's two prospecting permits on the mine.
GPTF claimed that the copper mine would be located in the seismically active region and close to the Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument. It also feared that the project would release toxins into the region's water supplies harming fishes and contaminating the community drinking water.
In March 2013, the US Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) denied GPTF's appeal, thus compelling the latter to move the issue to the court.
The court ruling came in favour of the GPTF, which ordered BLM and USFS to review the permits until they meet all environmental laws, including the National Forest Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Ascot's 2011 drill programme was scheduled to start in early July, but the court verdict has further delayed the work.
The company said in a statement that it will be consulting with the government's lawyers and its own to find the best way forward.