NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — The formal process for Nevada County residents to weigh in on the reopening of a gold mine is officially underway.
Grass Valley’s Idaho-Maryland mine produced 2.4 million ounces of gold during a century of operation. Rise Gold has had ownership of the mine for about five years and is hoping to see it productive again in the near future.
One person at the hearing echoed the same desires.
“I also have experience in the nuclear Navy with water treatment under Admiral Rickover, and their water treatment parallels what we had on the enterprise to protect our reactors, which was two parts per billion,” said supporter Al Wolf.
Earlier this month, Rise Gold CEO Ben Mossman told FOX40 that current technology provides for quieter and cleaner gold mining.
But that assessment does not sit well with some of the people who showed up for the Planning Commission hearing on the more than 1,000-page environmental impact report.
To begin, groundwater that has seeped into the site would have to be pumped out. The process would require the construction of a water treatment plant. That water would then have to be released into a nearby creek.
Those against the reopening the mine said the report, which Rise Gold finds favorable, is actually flawed and does not take into account all the ways the mine would affect the area.
“I’ve been paying a mortgage for 17 years, paying my taxes, and my land is directly over the mining rights. Exploding ammonium nitrate 500 feet below my feet at all hours of the day, 24/7 for 80 years, is not acceptable to me,” said Jason Telford.
“Bulldozers, excavators, compactors, all this mechanical equipment 500 feet behind my house, and they’re telling me that’s going to be quieter than the traffic noise from a road that’s at least three times that distance. It doesn’t make sense,” said Mike Shea.
Public comment on the reopening of the mine ends April 4. Nevada County’s Board of Supervisors will have the final say about whether or not the now-buried gold, more than a half-mile into the Earth, can be accessed once again.