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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Ely District Office
 
Release Date: 03/28/14
Contacts: Chris Hanefeld , 775-289-1842 , chanefel@blm.gov
News Release No. 2014-18

BLM to Extend Public Input Period for the Gold Rock Mine Project EIS


ELY – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published in the Federal Register a second Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed open-pit gold mine about 50 miles west of Ely, in White Pine County, Nevada.  The notice announces the extension of the public input period for an additional 30-day period that will end April 28, 2014.

The BLM’s email account that was set up to receive scoping comments on the Gold Rock Mine Project EIS during the initial scoping period (September 5, 2013, through October 7, 2013) was deleted during the Federal Government shutdown, October 1-16, 2013.  This second notice  extends the scoping period, invites members of the public to submit comments, and requests that anyone who submitted comments by email during the initial 30-day scoping period resubmit their comments by mail (BLM Ely District, Egan Field Office, HC 33 Box 33500, Ely, NV, 89301-9408), by fax (775) 289-1910) or through the BLM’s online ePlanning system (https://www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register.do) during this 30-day extension of the public input period.

No changes have been made to the proposed action.  No additional scoping meetings will be held during this 30-day extension of the public input period, as the meetings were not affected by the technical difficulties with the e-mail account.

The initial scoping period for the Gold Rock Mine Project EIS was announced in the Federal Register on September 5, 2013 (78 FR 54674).  Scoping meetings were held on September 24, 25, and 26 in 2013 in Ely, Eureka, and Reno, respectively.  

On November 7, 2013, the BLM was informed that the email account set up to receive the scoping comments on the project, along with all of its contents, had been deleted and was not recoverable.  On January 6, 2014, the BLM and Midway decided to issue a second NOI indicating that anyone who submitted scoping comments by email during the initial 30-day scoping period (September 5, 2013 through October 7, 2013) must resubmit their comments by mail, by fax, or through ePlanning during this 30-day extension of the public input period.

This notice extends the public input period for the EIS.  The BLM invites members of the public to submit comments, and requests that anyone who submitted scoping comments by e-mail during the initial 30-day scoping period resubmit their comments within 30 days of  the publication of the notice in the Federal Register.

The public is being asked to identify issues relevant to a Midway Gold U.S., Inc. proposal to construct and operate the Gold Rock Mine Project, which would be located on BLM-administered lands and consist of an open pit; a heap leach pad and associated ponds, process facility, and refinery; a mill; a carbon-in-leach (CIL) plant; waste rock dumps; a tailings storage facility; and ancillary facilities.  Electrical power would be obtained from Mt. Wheeler Power.  For the Gold Rock Project, a 69-kV transmission line would be extended from the Pan Mine approximately 6 miles across the valley to tie into the west side of the Gold Rock Project electric system.  A county road that currently passes through the project area would be relocated onto existing county and BLM roads.  The proposed project’s total surface disturbance would be approximately 3,749 acres.  The BLM has identified the following preliminary issues:  loss of habitat for wild horses and wildlife, including greater sage-grouse and mule deer; socioeconomics; air quality; cultural resources; impact on viewshed; and loss of access to hunting.

Interested individuals should address all written comments to the BLM Ely District Office, Egan Field Office, HC 33 Box 33500, Ely, NV 89301-9408, Attn:  Dan Netcher or fax them to Dan Netcher at (775) 289-1910.  Comments also may be submitted through the BLM’s ePlanning website:  https://www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register.do.  Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Additional information is available online at the BLM’s online ePlanning system: https://www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register.do.

For more information, contact Dan Netcher, BLM Ely District Project Manager - Renewable Energy, at (775) 289-1872 or dnetcher@blm.gov.



The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Last updated: 03-28-2014