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Ely District Office
Release Date: 03/22/13
Contacts: Chris Hanefeld , 775-289-1842 ,
News Release No. ELY 2013-14

BLM Seeks Public's Comments on Proposed Pan Mine Project west of Ely

Ely – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District, Egan Field Office is asking the public to review and provide comment on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Midway Gold U.S., Inc. proposed Pan Mine Project, an open-pit gold mine that would be located in White Pine County, about 50 miles west of Ely, Nev.  The 45-day public comment period ends Monday, May 6, 2013.

The BLM has scheduled two public comment meetings in Nevada, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Dates and locations are:

• Tuesday, April 9, Bristlecone Convention Center, 150 Sixth Street, Ely
• Wednesday, April 10, Eureka Opera House, 31 S. Main St., Eureka

The Pan Mine Project would be on BLM-administered lands and would consist of two primary open pits, four satellite pits, one heap leach pad and two rock disposal areas.  The total surface disturbance would be approximately 3,204 acres, all on public land. The projected mining period is 13 years, with associated construction, closure, reclamation and post-closure monitoring periods extending the project life to approximately 25 years.   

The DEIS describes four alternatives: the Proposed Action, the Waste Rock Disposal Site Design Alternative, the Southwest Power Line Alternative and the No Action Alternative. The Waste Rock Disposal Site Design Alternative would result in a decrease of 79 acres of disturbance compared to the Proposed Action. It would also involve a more conventional waste rock disposal design and move waste rock away from more important Greater Sage-Grouse habitat. The Southwest Power Line Alternative was developed to addresses concerns of potential impacts to Greater Sage-Grouse from the Proposed Action power line. It is marginally further away and is less visible from two active Greater Sage-Grouse leks.

The DEIS evaluates the potential impacts that the proposed operation and alternatives may have on human, natural and cultural resources, as well as determine what measures would be necessary to mitigate or reduce the impacts.  Issues identified during the scoping period include: potential impacts to archaeological resources, including Carbonari sites and the 1913 alternative route of the Lincoln Highway; impacts to population and habitat of Greater Sage-Grouse; impacts to wild horses and their habitat; impacts to air through point and non-point pollution sources; loss of use of the 1913 alternative route of the Lincoln Highway; changes to the quantity and quality of surface water and groundwater; potential occurrence of acid drainage from waste rock disposal areas into surface and groundwater; impacts to the sensitive desert landscape, vegetation communities, and vegetative food resources for wildlife; short- and long-term impacts on wildlife population dynamics and habitats; impacts to general health of the rangeland resources; release of pollutants and hazardous materials to the environment during operations and following closure; increase in light pollution in the areas and direct visual impacts from mine facilities; positive and negative socioeconomic impacts to the communities of Ely and Eureka, and to White Pine County; and cumulative impacts to wildlife, wild horses, cultural, air, water, and vegetation resources.

Interested individuals should address all written comments to the BLM Ely District Office, HC 33 Box 33500, Ely, NV 89301, Attn: Miles Kreidler or fax them to Kreidler at (775) 289-1910.  Comments may be submitted to e-mail address:  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  Click on the Ely District map and then click on the Pan Mine Project under “In the Spotlight.”

For more information, contact Miles Kreidler, BLM Ely District mining engineer, at (775) 289-1893 or

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Ely District Office   702 North Industrial Way      Ely, NV 89301  

Last updated: 04-20-2015