U.S. Forest Service officials have given conditional approval to a Canadian company to conduct exploratory drilling at 35 sites in Montana's Beartooth Mountains.

The Billings Gazette reports Vancouver-based Group Ten received authorization for the work over the next seven summers pending acquisition of a reclamation bond.

The sites are outside Nye along the Beartooth Front , where the company acquired 282 mining claims.

The company is working to determine the quantity and quality of precious metals in the area, including platinum, palladium, gold, nickel, copper and cobalt.

Group Ten aims to assess the ore body and sell the development rights to another firm.

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