Inyo Supervisors to consider letter on Conglomerate Mesa

By Deb Murphy

With the public comment period ending November 20, the Inyo Board of Supervisors will discuss a letter in support of Silver Standard’s plans to conduct an exploration for gold on Conglomerate Mesa in the Inyo Mountains east of Lone Pine and Olancha.

The Bureau of Land Management’s Environmental Assessment is available online. Check the Sierra Wave website for the link.

According to the EA, seven holes would be drilled within previously disturbed and reclaimed exploration routes. The individual drill pads would measure 12 by 60 feet and include 5 by 5 by 4 feet deep drilling fluid sumps.

Silver Standard’s preferred alternative includes reconstruction of roads to access the sites; the BLM’s preference is for helicopter transportation of equipment and personnel.

Either way, reclamation is a mandate for any work done on the land, an area within the recent Desert Renewable Energy Conservation land use plan.

According to the company’s geologist Angela Johnson, the company’s preference would be to re-open roads used to access old mining claims in the area. The graded roads and drilling sites would be recontoured and reseeded. BLM requires a 3 to 1 reclamation which translates into 23.25 acres of mitigation for 7.75 acres of disturbance for Silver Standard’s road access alternative.

Concern from the environmental community focuses on what will happen to the mesa if the exploration turns up enough gold to justify an open pit mine.

Consideration of the letter of support is an 11:15 timed item. The EA is available at

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7 Responses to Inyo Supervisors to consider letter on Conglomerate Mesa

  1. pinecreek November 16, 2017 at 10:37 am #

    Dang, this is cool. It’s been a while since there was large scale mining in Inyo County. If they can do it right and prove they’ll be environmentally conscious, I can see it happening. Not too fond of the open pit tho

  2. Low-Inyo November 16, 2017 at 7:44 am #

    Swell….ANOTHER out-of-area group coming here to try to make their “millions” at the expense of the environment in the Eastern Sierra area…and when they would be done with doing that endeavor,moving on and leaving their mess,as well as what “pite” says above while it’s going on…reminds me of the mining group,”Cougar Gold”, few years ago,led by Sara Palin’s cronies up near Bridgeport,when their group wanted to move into and around the Bodie hills area with their exploritory mining venture,promising no damage to the land,saying their dumping of materials would be made east and into Nevada and not around the ghost town…promising “hundreds of jobs ” to the locals …and then when the County Supervisors weren’t voting in their favor fast enough,them threatening to move on and elsewhere…..thankfully,they did move on and away….hoping the same thing happens here…

  3. Erich November 15, 2017 at 6:33 pm #

    Even though not called out in the EA, it is covered in the press release

    Normally Carlin deposits are mined using cyanide deep pit heap slag mining.

  4. p ite November 15, 2017 at 6:06 am #

    well you might as well cancel the badwater to whitney race i dont think to many people will want to make the trip just to wear a breathing apparatus to protect them from mercury dust , not to mention thousands of dump trucks blocking the road kicking up dust and rocks, so if you want to enjoy dv dont come thruogh owens valley, oh ya these people arent tea drinkers, better hire more police

  5. Philip Anaya November 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

    Why would Perdito Exploration nor the EA tell us what they are drilling for ? These are public lands after all and if they do not have a reason for drilling then that’s reason enough to not do it at all. Try this link for the docs if the other does not work .

    • pinecreek November 16, 2017 at 10:35 am #

      They’re drilling shallow exploration cores, to determine gold grades, structure etc.

  6. Almost Native November 14, 2017 at 7:29 am #

    Sounds to me like the seven holes they are drilling is minning for gold. Consider me a realist!


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