In a Surprise Move, Grass Valley City Council Sets Hard Deadline for Emgold

In a surprise move this evening, the Grass Valley City Council went well beyond what was strictly required of them and took action on a formally non-action agenda item, by imposing a “final” and hard deadline of six months for Emgold to secure financing to complete the Draft Environmental Impact Report on its Idaho-Maryland Mine Project.

Council members made it clear that there will be no more extensions, and that the application will be deemed dead if Emgold fails to secure financing by the six-month deadline. Technically, the project could then be restarted from the beginning with a new application, but it’s anyone’s guess whether that is even likely. Since Emgold has used all its recent fundraising to finance its efforts on projects in Nevada, my guess is that this hard deadline may signal the end of Emgold’s long quest to re-open the Idaho-Maryland Mine in Grass Valley.

Most public commenters urged the council to impose a hard deadline, and — in the end – it seemed that the council heard and responded to their arguments.

When Emgold CEO Dave Watkinson suggested to the council that the city was sometimes the obstacle to progress, councilmember Lisa Swarthout quickly reminded him that the subject this evening was Emgold and not the city. This seemed like an ominous reproach.

I had hoped to post the video of the IMM discussion this evening, but it appears that NCTV may have dropped the ball and not broadcast it (I scheduled it, but got only a black screen for a recording). If it turns up on Granicus, I may be able to capture it and post it here.

My strong impression is that the Grass Valley City Council may be getting a bit impatient with Emgold’s endless stalling and delays.

Stay tuned for further developments.


Comments

10 Responses to “In a Surprise Move, Grass Valley City Council Sets Hard Deadline for Emgold”
  1. depelton says:

    There was a significant sea-change in the attitude of the city council this evening, which most who reported on the meeting (and had not been following this story closely) missed, and most of us who were actually in the room caught.

  2. RL Crabb says:

    Being there makes a big difference. The camera (even when it’s working) can never quite capture the emotion. Sorry I couldn’t make it.

  3. depelton says:

    I agree, RL, the big story there tonight was a subtle but substantive shift in the disposition of the council. Only time will tell whether this shift persists.

  4. Jeff Pelline says:

    Thanks but I’m more skeptical. I saw it as a way to publicly deflect the criticism that the process is taking to long, rather than a genuine hardening of a position. After all, it’s six months, instead of the proposed three months. And the door is always open to resubmit.

  5. Jeff Pelline says:

    Thanks but I’m more skeptical. I saw it as a way to publicly deflect the criticism that the process is taking to long, rather than a genuine hardening of a position. After all, it’s six months, instead of the proposed three months. And the door is always open to resubmit. And when the TV is blank, you’re forced to listen closely, rather than be moved by body language, just like in the days of radio.

  6. depelton says:

    Jeff:

    We don’t know anyone who is blaming the delays on the council, so the idea that they might feel the need to deflect criticism on that account is hard to credit.

    My take is that the six months gave them cover for making this the final extension, which they are now on record as specifying.

    Sure, Emgold could reapply, but that would set them back — what? — about seven years in the process. Yeah, that’s certainly a possibility. But likely?

    And your idea about the disadvantage of being able to see body language is certainly novel in this age of Internet flame wars.

    In any case, if you’d been there last night you would have seen a group of local citizens who all shared the same sense of cautious optimism. But then, they had the disadvantage of being confused by all that body language. :-)

  7. Jeff Pelline says:

    Don,

    The Council, just like the rest of City Hall, is taking plenty of heat for letting this project drag on so long, including people who show up at the meeting voice their concern.

    Emgold will either meet the deadline (after all, they just won another six month extension – instead of three – from the “hard” bargaining Council ) OR they will get another extension.

    Mark my words — the project will go forward to the next step. Anything else is just wishful thinking.
    Is it possible to get snowed, even if you’re sitting indoors? Just askin’ 😉

  8. depelton says:

    Jeff:

    I’m delighted to leave it that you are 100% certain and the rest of us are cautiously optimistic.

    Your words are duly marked.

    We can check back on this one in five months (DW’s first month has already elapsed).

    BTW, it’s OK to disagree with us without insulting us by saying that we were snowed. We can just respectfully disagree, right? Rather than disrespectfully disagree.

    For instance, I wouldn’t say that you were snowed. I would say only that you weren’t there, which is just a fact.

    Don.

  9. Jeff Pelline says:

    Sounds no different than your crack about body language. Let’s compare notes in six months and see who was snowed – or not. I’m tired of the know it alls, so let’s compare notes then.

  10. depelton says:

    I agree! Down with the know-it-alls!