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.

Idaho-Maryland Mine, Again

By Ralph Silberstein

The Idaho-Maryland Mine was recently acquired from Emgold Mining by RISE Gold Corp, a junior mining company from Canada. The prior Canadian owner, Emgold Mining, spent years trying to get the mine opened and failed. Due to immense environmental impacts, financial obstacles and public opposition, Emgold eventually abandoned the project.

Repeating the pattern of Emgold, RISE, the new owner, has recently completed some exploratory drilling and has been publishing enticing reports. In a Jan 3, 2018 press release, RISE CEO Ben Mossman stated “The presence of high-grade gold values in the walls of the quartz veins was not expected…” and “The possibility that there could be very substantial gold mineralization in the developed upper levels of the mine is astonishing…”

Except this isn’t astonishing news at all. RISE is excitedly reporting gold deposits in concentrations previously reported in multiple glowing reports by Emgold [e.g Emgold Publication March 2008].

It all sounds so promising, so easy, such a lucrative deal. Multiple alluring reports have been produced yet again. Following the pattern of Emgold, RISE has turned to funding methods that are not approved by the SEC, collecting more than $2 million via “private placements”.

Why didn’t Emgold open the mine? What is going on?

The reality is that the mine is flooded and deposits lie thousands of feet under polluted water.

The mine shut down in 1956 due to LOW PRODUCTION. In order to get to what gold is left, miles of tunnels have to be dewatered and continuously treated to meet the strict California standards. So a water purification system to handle large volume has to be designed and built. It will have to run forever.

Also, discharging this water means putting South Fork Wolf Creek at flood stage. This creek is a pristine little stream that runs down into the beautiful meadows along Bennett Street. The land is owned by Empire Mine State Park and has been undergoing habitat restoration. Extensive environmental studies will be required to assess the impacts on this habitat before anything can go forward.

There also will have to be studies and guarantees to protect local well owners. Costly water mains and service lines will have to be installed in advance throughout the area to provide a solution for the possibility that the mine would impact these wells.

Even without considering the dewatering issues, it is questionable whether it would be financially feasible to mine the ore that remains at such depths. In California, the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) requires that all mines have a reclamation plan in place before starting. Gone are the days in which a mining company could extract massive amounts of waste rock, leave tailings all over the place, pollute the area with mercury or cyanide or arsenic, and then leave it all when the gold runs out. In order for the mine to get SMARA approval, the area will need a reclamation plan and a huge guarantee bond.

This problem is even larger because the mine property already has vast areas of tailings left over from earlier days which are in need of testing and potential remediation. In a recent EPA study of California abandoned mines to determine their potentials of hazardous exposure, Idaho Maryland Mine is listed as number one! [“Prioritization of California Abandoned Mines Exposure-Based Algorithm” May 9, 2017, Hillenbrand]. RISE Gold now owns this legacy clean up problem.

And there will be other environmental impacts. The mine is situated at the City of Grass Valley. There will be noise impacts, air pollution impacts, traffic impacts, and energy consumption limitations due to California’s strict new climate change laws. The project will need to have an Environmental Impact Report which must be approved by multiple agencies. It is well known that the local environmental community will not stand for anything other than full and careful scrutiny.

The executives at RISE undoubtably know all this, but make little mention of these huge obstacles. CEO Ben Mossman recently spoke at a mining conference as if the permitting would be easy, with “only county approval needed”, failing to mention a reality that paints an entirely different picture. But, in one sense, Mossman is right. Idaho-Maryland Mine is still a very productive gold mine. Only instead of mining for gold, it is again being used to mine unwary investors: in the last year alone RISE has collected over $2 million in investment cash.


Ralph Silberstein is a member of Community Environmental Advocates

 

They’re BACK !!! Canadian Mining Company to Re-Open Idaho-Maryland Mine

by Don Pelton

They’re back? Really?

We heard this siren song before, when Emgold sang it to lure investors and in the process bewitched enough people in the local community to make it look plausible for a few years. In the end, Emgold failed to overcome determined local opposition.

But now another Canadian mining company, Rise Gold, is going to try it again.

“Rise Gold expects to start an exploration diamond drilling campaign at the Idaho-Maryland project in the September quarter and is currently preparing the drill sites.”

From The Mining Journal (8/25/17): “Rise Gold launches placement

Check out Rise Gold’s investor presentation.

Stay tuned.

 

See also on Yubanet: “Rise Preparing to Commence Exploration Campaign at Idaho Maryland Gold Project

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