BLM Seeking Public Input on a Notice of Intent for the Proposed Deep South Expansion Project Environmental Impact Statement. Public Meetings Scheduled for April 2017


Nevada State Office

BLM Office:

Battle Mountain, NV – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking input regarding issues to be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposal by Barrick Cortez Inc. to expand its existing open pit and underground gold mine operations in the Cortez Gold Mines (CGM) Operations Area. The proposal, known as the Deep South Expansion Project, is located south of Crescent Valley in Lander and Eureka counties, Nevada.  The public scoping period ends May 1, 2017.

The proposal includes increasing the existing approved plan boundary (known as the CGM Operations Area) by 4,279 acres—from 58,093 acres to 62,372 acres. The proposed project would consist of new and expanded facilities on BLM-administered lands and private lands.  If the proposed project is approved and developed, there would be an increase of approximately 3,800 acres of mining-related surface disturbance within the expanded CGM Operations Area, of which 73 percent would be on BLM-administered lands. The proposed project would include:  expansion of open pits, underground mine drifts, and waste rock facilities; construction and expansion of water management facilities; and construction and operation of additional ancillary facilities. In addition, Barrick Cortez Inc. has requested authorization to increase the approved offsite transport of refractory ore to the Goldstrike Mine and backhaul of Arturo Mine oxide ore to the CGM Operations Area for processing.

The BLM has identified preliminary issues relating to water management, vegetation resources, wildlife (including migratory birds), special status species (including greater sage-grouse), cultural resources, Native American cultural concerns, geological resources, paleontological resources, soils, recreational values, aesthetics (i.e., noise and visual impacts), air quality, land use and access, social and economic values, and grazing management.

The BLM has scheduled three public scoping meetings in the following locations:

  • Battle Mountain, Nevada, on April 18, 2017, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the BLM Battle Mountain District Office, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, Nevada.
  • Crescent Valley, Nevada, on April 19, 2017, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Hall, 5045 Tenabo Avenue, Crescent Valley, Nevada.
  • Elko, Nevada on April 20, 2017, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Elko Convention Center, 700 Moren Way, Elko, Nevada.

If interested parties cannot attend the public scoping meetings, the NOI can be viewed on the Federal Register website here

These meetings provide the public and interested agencies an opportunity to learn about the proposed mine expansion project and to help identify issues, provide input, and propose alternatives to be addressed in the EIS. Early public involvement is crucial to identify potential issues that may need to be addressed through the EIS process.

Written comments on the scope of the EIS are encouraged and may be submitted on or before May 1, 2017,via  email to:blm_nv_bmdo_mlfo_DeepSouthEIS@blm.govor by U.S. Postal Service to: BLM, Mount Lewis Field Office, Attn: Kevin Hurrell – Deep South Project, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820. To be included in the Draft EIS, all comments must be received prior to the close of the scoping period or 15 days after the last public meeting, whichever is later.  BLM will provide additional opportunities for public participation upon publication of the Draft EIS.  Comments and documents on the proposal, including names and addresses of commenters, may be viewed at the Battle Mountain District Office, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV, during regular business hours (7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays).  Comments may be published as part of the EIS. 

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment including your personal identifying information may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.  All submissions from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.