Emgold, the speculative Canadian penny-stock gold exploration company that hopes to re-open the old Idaho-Maryland Mine in Grass Valley, refers in its current press release to a single 2006 survey question that was of dubious validity when it was first asked and was made obsolete by the subsequent results of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) in 2008.
Emgold continues to refer to that single conditional question as if it were an entire survey supporting its application, when it is nothing of the sort.
Here’s how Emgold spins it:
In 2006, an independent survey by the City of Grass Valley showed 72% of residents were in favor of the project, 16% were undecided, and 12% were opposed.
The 2006 survey in fact focused on attitudes toward quality of life, perceptions of City government services, proposals to improve conditions in Grass Valley, and planning for future growth. Only one of the 31 questions dealt with the Idaho-Maryland Mine, as follows: “Provided that appropriate environmental safeguards are in place (would you support) allowing the Idaho Maryland gold mine to reopen?” (emphasis mine).
The DEIR, which was published much later (in the fall of 2008), clearly shows that environmental safeguards are not in place, and that there are serious questions about the viability of this project within 1 ½ miles of downtown, a hospital, parks, trails and schools, and surrounded by homes and businesses on all sides. The DEIR thus shows that the prerequisite condition in that single question was not met, making any further reference to it obsolete and invalid.
It is significant that only 338 people responded to the survey (less than 3% out of a total population of approximately 12,000), many fewer than those who have since signed petitions opposing the mine. The survey does not reveal how many of those few respondents own residential property near the mine site. It is interesting that traffic congestion topped the list of concerns and that, when asked what they liked most about living in Grass Valley, many pointed to the area’s “scenic beauty, peace, and serenity.”
One must conclude that this survey — with regard to the single Idaho-Maryland Mine question contained within it — had little merit at the time it was conducted, and in any case became obsolete when the DEIR revealed that the single prerequisite condition for that question was not met, and cannot be met.
Given the strong expression of support for environmental concerns in the majority of answers to all the questions in this survey, one might now just as reasonably conclude that the survey shows strong evidence of potentially widespread opposition to the mine in the community of Grass Valley.