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On Thursday, in a decisive move during a Board of Supervisors meeting in Nevada County, California, members unanimously voted against the reactivation of gold mining operations at the Idaho-Maryland Mine site near Grass Valley. The decision followed extensive debates over the fate of the historic mine, which has been inactive since its closure in the mid-1950s. The Rise Grass Valley company had initially submitted an application in 2019, sparking ongoing discussions and community concerns.
Ed Scofield, chair of the Board of Supervisors, stated, “Our decision was unanimous, so I think that speaks for itself.”
The community’s sentiments were strongly divided over the prospect of resuming gold mining, however, and the proposal underwent multiple rounds of county review, with opponents expressing concerns about the potential environmental impact and the consequences for present-day Grass Valley.
Lilly Marie Mora, a long-time resident of Nevada County, voiced concerns about the impact on Grass Valley, stating, “I don’t see how the town of Grass Valley can exist with 24/7 trucks running through it and all the things that the mine will bring, and still survive as a town, especially a tourist town.”
Rise Grass Valley countered these concerns by asserting that there would be no negative environmental impact and that reactivating gold mining would benefit the local economy, serving as a tool for job creation. As the community grapples with the implications of this decision, the Idaho-Maryland Mine remains a focal point of contention, reflecting the delicate balance between economic opportunities and environmental concerns in the region.
Meanwhile, across the mountains and into the state of Nevada, construction has been given the green light for the Goldrush Mine project, a new addition to the Nevada Gold Mines Cortez Complex, spanning Lander and Eureka counties. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has granted approval for this venture, marking a significant development in the region’s mining landscape.
The Goldrush Mine, slated to be part of the Nevada Gold Mines Cortez Complex, is anticipated to be operational for an impressive 24 years, contributing to the economic vitality of the area. Approximately 570 individuals are expected to find employment opportunities within the mining operation.
Douglas Furtado, BLM’s Battle Mountain District Manager, expressed satisfaction with the approval, stating, “We are pleased to announce the approval of the Goldrush Mine.”
Furtado acknowledged the collaborative efforts of Nevada Gold Mines, state authorities, local governments, and various tribal entities and stakeholders. The constructive coordination demonstrated by these parties played a pivotal role in achieving this milestone.
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