Jesse McKinley, writing in the New York Times on February 10th (“Old Mines Reopen in a Revival of California’s Gold Rush“), notes the local community opposition to re-opening the Idaho-Maryland Mine and finds that, “like many other towns in the Mother Lode, Grass Valley has long since moved its economy away from mining.”
The Idaho-Maryland project is much further from being shovel-ready than the Lincoln Mine: pumping out more than 50 years of water will take time, after all, as does completing a variety of environmental impact reports and permitting processes. And the prospect of a newly opened mine has also been met with opposition from some local activists, whose worries are rooted in both the legacy of the first Gold Rush — including contaminated and sediment-filled rivers and hillsides denuded by hydraulic drills — and by more modern quality-of-life concerns like traffic, noise and water rights.
“We’d be looking at reopening a mine in the middle of a city,” said Ralph Silberstein, the president of a grass-roots group called Citizens Looking At the Impacts of Mining in Grass Valley (or CLAIM-GV). “Which is not a good idea.”
Indeed, like many of the other towns in the Mother Lode, Grass Valley has long since moved its economy away from mining toward things like software and tourism.
Read the full story here.