Mining Nightmare

By Heidi Zimmerman

Are YOU, the inhabitants of the Grass Valley region, aware there is exploratory drilling for gold occurring right now and has been for the last year?

The 90 acre parcel (was 5 different owners) is the Idaho Maryland gold mine and was the 2nd largest mine in the country back in the 50’s. Unbeknownst to anyone around here, this land was sold to Rise Gold Corp, a Canadian company who amassed 2.5-3 million dollars from Canadians in hopes of striking gold with this company.

We have a Canadian company mining for gold in our back yard directly next to residential properties! How can this be allowed to happen in this day and age?

They have been drilling 24/7 through all holidays, weekends and evenings nonstop looking for gold. They are drilling under our residential properties! They are using hundreds of gallons of drilling fluid, compounds and lubricants, which are injected into the wells. How will this impact our ground water and adjacent perennial streams? Needless to say this has been an extremely disruptive issue to those living within proximity to this atrocity along Brunswick, E. Bennett Rd and surrounding areas. Do you realize there is zoned residential land, which borders this heavy industrial zoned land that Rise Gold is working on. This is heavy industrial activity running 24/7!

The sound is very loud and carries a high din (vibration) non stop. There is light pollution as well every single night.

The reported violations and complaints are:

  • Violations of 100’ riparian setback
  • Violation of comprehensive management plan
  • Violation of timber harvest regulations(2 citations were issued)
  • Multiple violations of SWMP(storm water management practices)
  • Constant loud vibration drilling sound
  • Light pollution: bright floodlights running all night long.
  • Reports of strong solvent smells and dust.
  • Soil contamination: What chemicals are leaking out of containers onto our soil?

Sound testing was done for noise level violations at the more remote previous site, but no sound testing has been completed at the current location next to residential inhabitants.

Given the poor record Rise Gold has already created, we should be alarmed and concerned about how much damage they are doing to the ground water, the creek and the surrounding wildlife.

They are penetrating multiple shafts through impermeable rock layers that underlay local shallow aquifers. How will this impact local residential water wells? What is done with the thousands of gallons of drilling slurry discharge? There are no restoration or reclamation plans in place. There is no bonding, licensing or insurance required either.

I personally have spoken to a person on our board of supervisors twice and they felt, we as a community would never let drilling for gold happen in this day and age. Why then is Rise Gold Corp doing exploratory drilling at all? Why are they operating on a very old code more than 20 years since its been updated? Why is heavy industrial zoning butting up to residential living?

We as a community have a responsibility to ensure we manage and care for our beautiful surroundings for our children and their children. It’s up to us, the inhabitants of grass valley etc to create the change that we wish for. Perhaps it is time for a revamp or redraw of where the industrial zoning can be allocated. And perhaps it’s time to close the door on mining for gold in this county forever! There are 2 California state penal codes already written (372 & 373) to support our right to quiet enjoyment where we reside. We pay taxes for this right of quiet enjoyment. This is why most of us live here. We need Rise Gold Corp to cease and desist immediately. We need to change or redraw the zoning. And we need to have the codes updated to better reflect what we as a community support and want in this county in this day and age.

I call any and all of you to action to save our precious community from gold mining.

This operation needs to be shut down now!! We the people must demand this from our county.

Here’s how you can get involved:

Contact your elected representatives.

Join or support local groups that advocate for protecting our environment such as Community Environmental Advocates or Wolf Creek Community Alliance.

Submit comments to the local media.

Put your voice and energy into action PLEASE and help get them closed down.

Thanks much,

Heidi Zimmerman

Heidi Zimmerman is a resident of Grass Valley, and lives very near Rise Gold’s exploratory drilling operation.

Editor’s Note: The following short video is an approximately 10-minute excerpt from Rise Gold’s own video showing an underwater survey of a section of the mine tunnel. Is this the quality of the water that will be dumped into local streams (e.g., Wolf Creek) when the mine is “dewatered” (emptied of water prior to the mining operation itself)?


See also Rise Gold’s full 20-minute survey video (“Rise Gold Corp. ROV Survey of New Brunswick Shaft”) here.