Mono County Supervisors Come Out Against Gold-Silver Exploration Drilling in Long Valley

Mono County Submits Initial Comments on Long Valley Exploration Drilling Project Looking for Gold and Silver

The Mono County Board of Supervisors took a strong stance in opposition to the proposed exploratory drilling project in Long Valley at its Tuesday meeting.

Kore Mining has claimed the project qualifies as a categorical exclusion from the state and federal environmental protection legislation. The County disagreed. Noting both the exploratory project and any further mining activity would have an impact on the Bi-State Sage Grouse leks just three miles from the site as well as the grazing leases.

Greater Sage Grouse Lek

The Board approved a letter to the Inyo National Forest mineral program manager requesting information on the operation and further impact analysis

According to the company’s Technical Report, the site is “a few miles” east of U.S. Hwy. 395.

Categorical exclusions are defined as “a class of actions ….that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and for which neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is normally required.”

The letter, outlined by Wendy Sugimura Mono’s community development director, cites four major objections: the operation conflicts with Mono County policies, potential impacts at Hot Creek and Little Hot Creek, the requirement for tribal consultation and the exploration could lead to an open pit mining operation.

Stitched Panorama – Hot Springs – Mono County (Wikipedia Commons)

 

While the site is within Inyo National Forest, Mono County’s Mining Ordinance requires a permit for mining operations.

Kore Chief Operating Officer Mr. Leduc is a mining engineer and geologist with over 30 years experience covering all aspects of the development, operation, planning and evaluation of mining projects, with expertise in designing, constructing and operating large heap leach gold mines. Ccompany website)

Kore’s Mark Leduc reminded the Board the current project would not give the company the right to proceed and Kore would “embrace the National Environmental Protection Act process before proceeding beyond the tests. He explained the test would impact less than an acre with 14 drill pads within a 53-foot by 30-foot area, not take place during the Sage Grouse brooding season and there would be coordination with the grazing lessees.

Mono County’s response was based on preliminary documents from Kore and completed within the deadline. A more complete operations plan was made available, but Sugimura explained not in enough time to meet that initial comment deadline of May 6. The additional information may resolve some of the issues, she said, but it may also bring up additional problems with the project.

That deadline was just extended to May 13.

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Jean Habegger
Jean Habegger
1 year ago

I would hate to see Long Valley look like some areas I have seen in Nevada, after mining left the area.

Gold digger
Gold digger
1 year ago

Did you guys even read the article. They have a acre around the 53×30 pad to maneuver their equipment around. An acre is the size of a professional football field. Their not going to pay for a environmental impact study for a fully operational mine till they know what’s in… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
1 year ago

Mr. Leduc’s Kore proposal for drilling contains an illustration of a typical 53×30 pad that has a drilling rig, a water truck and 2 pickup trucks nicely backed into the pad and yes they fit tightly packed at the end of the access trail. However there is no way any… Read more »

Lydia
Lydia
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Phillip, whoever you are, thank you for knowing what you know and speaking from an intelligent an informed scientific place. Live long.

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
1 year ago

The purpose and hope of a test pad would be to commence with full scale mining operations at some point. Mr. Leduc needs the thoroughly describe what the full mining operation would look like, not just what a test pad would encompass.

Ted Williams
Ted Williams
1 year ago

When a company conducts exploratory drilling for gold, their intent is to mine if it is profitable. Saying, “oh we are just testing nothing else and the impact will be minor,” never addressing the ultimate impact should mining take place. It is disingenuous to proclaim little impact, when the ultimate… Read more »

M. Anderson
M. Anderson
1 year ago

Was the Board’s position unanimous, or did any of the supervisors support the drilling?,

Deborah Murphy
Deborah Murphy
1 year ago
Reply to  M. Anderson

M.Anderson–unanimous! The Supes usually are unanimous on votes. Tioga Inn housing project was the only split vote I covered in some 6 years.

Lydia
Lydia
1 year ago

Does Leduc really believe the word “embrace” is going to seduce MC sups into lala land? Locals weren’t born yesterday and actually do see past the ends of their noses.