BILLINGS, Mont. — Opponents of mining near Yellowstone National Park filed a lawsuit Friday challenging a decision by Montana environmental regulators to allow a Canadian company to explore for precious metals just north of the park.

The Park County Environmental Council and Greater Yellowstone Coalition sued the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Lucky Minerals, Inc. in state district court in Montana’s Park County.

Lucky Minerals was given approval to drill on private land in the Absaroka Mountains to assess its prospects for mining of copper, gold, silver and molybdenum deposits.

Plaintiff’s attorney Jenny Harbine says the state’s analysis of the company’s proposal should have considered the potential for a large-scale mine to be built at the exploration site.

Environmental Quality Department spokeswoman Kristi Ponozzo said the agency was reviewing the lawsuit.

Lucky Minerals did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.