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Mining project near Tonopah approved

TONOPAH – The proposed Three Hills Mine Project just west of Tonopah will move forward with specific environmental protection and mitigation measures, according to decisions by the Bureau of Land Management Tonopah field office under the National Environmental Policy Act.

The decisions, known as a decision record and finding of no significant impact, identify which planning alternatives in the project’s environmental assessment will be authorized.

WK Mining submitted a plan of operations and reclamation permit to construct, operate and close an open pit gold mine and milling facility.

That plan features major components, including one open pit, waste rock storage areas, a heap leach pad with associated process water tanks and an event pond, an absorption-desorption-recovery processing plant and a refinery.

AT&T also submitted a plan of development and right of way for realignment of an existing buried fiber optic cable.

Authorized infrastructure associated with the mine includes a water supply pipeline and associated water delivery pipelines, on-site power generation and distribution system, access and haul roads, storm water diversions, sediment control basins, and modifications to Highway 95 at the junction with South Access Road.

Reclamation and closure will include the development of an evapotranspiration cell and other work.

The proposed project area would consist of around 722 acres, of which about 459 acres would be new surface disturbance. The life of the mine is expected to be 5-and-a-half years from construction through closure, providing around 100 jobs with minimal additional demands on public services.

Battle Mountain District Manager Doug Furtado credited WK Mining’s work with the BLM and compliance with the state of Nevada mine permitting process for getting the project reviewed in a timely fashion.

“Thanks to WK Mining’s cooperation and collaboration with the BLM and the state of Nevada, we were able to process and approve their plan of operation in an unprecedented time frame of just seven months,” Furtado said.

For more details on any of the processes involved in the plans of the Three Hills Mine project visit the ePlanning webpage at http://1.usa.gov/1NkIqyI. A hard copy of these documents is available for review at the Tonopah field office at 1553 South Main Street during regular business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

If you have any questions regarding this environmental assessment or wish to obtain a CD or hard copy of this document, please contact Will Coyle, assistant field manager non-renewable at 775-482-7803.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @mickakers

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