The Bureau of Land Management Begins Scoping for proposed Gibellini Vanadium Mine Project Southeast Of Eureka, Nevada
BATTLE MOUNTAIN, Nevada – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mount Lewis Office has begun the scoping process for the proposed Gibellini Vanadium Mine Project located approximately 27 miles southeast of Eureka, Nevada.
Vanadium, one of the 35 Critical Minerals identified by the U.S. Geological Survey, was first used in the early 1900s and goes into everything from automobile parts to aircraft titanium. When combined with other ferrous alloys, it significantly improves their properties, according the information on USGS.gov.
The 35 Critical Minerals list includes rare earth elements, as well as other metals such as lithium, indium, tellurium, gallium and platinum group elements. The critical minerals are used to manufacture things like batteries and LCD screens in computers, alloys for the aerospace and defense industries, integrated circuits and optical devices, medical imaging and research, and hundreds of other applications. Without them, the nation’s economy would grind to a halt, and the technological edge maintained by the Armed Forces and Intelligence community would erode.
“If approved, this project would provide hundreds of jobs and will contribute to the nation’s domestic source of critical minerals,” said Doug Furtado, Battle Mountain District Manager. “The Gibellini mine would also be the first vanadium mine in the U.S. and, in accordance with Secretarial Order 3355, we anticipate having a record of decision in 12 months.”
As there is currently no primary domestic production of vanadium, the United States is dependent on foreign sources of vanadium; this creates a strategic vulnerability for both the economy and military to adverse government action or other events that can disrupt the supply of this key mineral.
The Gibellini Project would produce nearly 10 million pounds of vanadium annually, which would represent approximately 50% of U.S. demand, making the project a significant domestic contributor.
The Gibellini Project is a proposal by the Nevada Vanadium Company to construct, operate, reclaim, and close an open pit, heap leach, vanadium mining operation known as the Gibellini Project. The proposed project is in the southern extent of the Fish Creek Range on 6,456 acres of federal lands administered by the BLM in Eureka County, Nevada.
The project consists of construction and operation of an open pit mining operation and heap leach process facility to extract and recover vanadium and minor amounts of uranium as a secondary product; the anticipated mine life is approximately seven years. The project would commence in 2021. Reclamation and site closure activities would require approximately four years to complete. Post-closure monitoring is estimated to take an additional 30 years. The proposed project includes mineral exploration activities in the project area.
Approximately 3.3 million tons of material would be mined annually. Mining and crushing would occur up to 24 hours per day, seven days per week. NVC would employ up to 120 employees for the construction of the proposed Gibellini Project. During mine operations, there would be up to 120 employees with approximately 30 employees on-site at any one time, including contractors.
Recognizing the importance of critical minerals, in 2017 President Trump issued Executive Order 13817, A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals, which directed the Secretaries of Interior and Commerce to lead the development of a government-wide strategy to protect and expand access by U.S. manufacturers and suppliers to necessary critical minerals. In turn, the Secretary of the Interior issued Secretary's Order 3359, Critical Mineral Independence and Security, and led development of the final critical minerals list in May 2018.
This notice announces the beginning of the 30-day period to solicit public comments and identify issues and alternatives and it also serves to initiate public consultation, as required, under the National Historic Preservation Act. To comment on the project, please visit the project website here: https://go.usa.gov/xf2GR. Written comments may also be submitted in person or mailed to:
BLM Battle Mountain District Office
50 Bastian Road
Battle Mountain, NV 89820
The dates and locations of any scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local media and newspapers and on the BLM website above.
For more information, contact Scott Distel, Project Manager, at (775) 635-4093. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’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. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.