The Barrick Bullfrog Mine site is going to have a busy 2017, according to a report from company representatives to the Beatty Town Advisory Board on Monday.
Kevin Hamatake said that work is set to begin in mid-to-late February on further backfilling of the main pit. He said this work will involve moving some 1.3 million cubic yards of material to raise the bottom of the pit 72 feet. The project is anticipated to take four to five months, wrapping up some time in June or July.
The backfill is needed to keep groundwater from seeping into the bottom of the pit and evaporating. That evaporation is a drain on the water level in the aquifer.
Barrick will also be filling some ponds in the tailings area of the former mine. That will turn these areas into evaporation cells to dry out.
Dan Bornstein reported that the company is also talking with several renewable energy companies about the solar potential at the site and are working to permit an interconnectivity study that would help in that development.
He said they are also looking at the possibility of providing electrical training to locals who might be able to find employment in the maintenance of a solar energy project.
Besides working the renewable energy angle, the company is also considering what they referred to as “hospitality” uses, including such things as trail systems to attract tourists.
Barrick has also leased some of their land in the area, including the entire Montgomery-Shoshone site to Bullfrog Gold Corporation, which is in the process of exploration for gold deposits.
Other than the Barrick presentation, the only other matter taken up by the board was a request of up to $125 from the Beatty Senior Center for a USPS every door direct mailer. The mailer, which was approved, will be used to send out a survey to get community input on the center’s conjugate meal program. “Conjugate” is the term used for the meals served to groups of patrons in the center itself.
It has been known for some time that the Beatty Senior Center is running out of money. Jerry Martin said that he was given the estimate that the senior center’s present funds should be enough to keep the center’s home-bound meal service going until June 17, and its present two-day-a-week conjugate meals going until July 17.
Richard Stephens is a freelance writer living in Beatty.