Large trucks move material at Midway Gold’s Pan Mine, which is located near the location that the Gold Rock Mine Project would be.  (Courtesy photo)

Large trucks move material at Midway Gold’s Pan Mine, which is located near the location that the Gold Rock Mine Project would be.
(Courtesy photo)

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Ely office released a draft of their Environmental Impact Study (EIS) on Feb. 13 for Midway Gold’s Gold Rock Mine Project, which is planned to open 50 miles west of Ely. With the release of the draft EIS, the public is invited to share their thoughts and concerns during a 45-day review period that ends on March 30.

The BLM has scheduled three public meetings in Northern Nevada to accomodate those that would like to learn more about the project as well as officially submit their comments on the EIS. The first of those meetings will take place in Ely on March 10 at Great Basin College. A second will be held in the Eureka Courthouse on March 11 and a third will be held at the Best Western Reno Airport Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Reno on March 12. All three meetings will run from 5  to 7 p.m. and offer information to those in attendance via an open house format.

“The public needs to look at our draft EIS and let us know where they have issues or concerns that we did not address,” BLM Project Manager Dan Netcher said.

The proposed Gold Rock Mine Project is planned to be constructed and operated in the same area as the reclaimed and closed Easy Junior Mine. It would similar to Midway Gold’s Pan Mine, which broke ground approximately 25 miles south of Eureka last year, in both geographic area and size.

The draft of the EIS outlines the main proposed action for the new mine along with six “action alternatives” and a “no action alternative.”

The proposed action would consist of “an open pit, two waste rock disposal areas, a heap leach pad and processing ponds, a carbon-in-leach plant, a tailings storage facility, haul and access roads, growth medium stock piles, ancillary support facilities and exploration associated with mining operations” according to a statement put out by the BLM’s Ely office.

The seven proposed alternatives laid out in the draft EIS were “developed to help reduce project-related impacts to greater sage-grouse and mule dear” according to the BLM.

The projected mining period for the Gold Rock mine would be 10 years, with associated construction, closure, reclamation and post-closure monitoring periods extending the life of the project to approximately 48 years.  According to Netcher, the “tentative” date for the Gold Rock Mine Project to open would be sometime in 2016, though that largely depends on what comments and concerns the mine will have to address following the 45-day review period.

Midway Gold estimates that the project would create between 150-250 jobs.

The draft EIS for the Gold Rock Mine Project can be found online at http://on.doi.gov/1zAxyW9. Comments can be made directly online, faxed to 775-289-1910, or mailed to BLM Ely District, Egan Field Office, HC 33 Box, Ely, NV 89301.

For more information about the Gold Rock Mine Project or to obtain a printed copy of the Draft EIS, contact Dan Netcher at 775-289-1872 or via email at dnetcher@blm.gov.