weather icon Clear

Public comment open for mine permit in Esmeralda County

The state Bureau of Air Pollution Control at the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection has opened the public notice period for a permit for a proposed Gemfield Mine in Esmeralda County, organizers announced.

The public comment period is from Jan. 9 to Feb. 8, 2019.

Details were announced in a news release.

The bureau has reviewed the application and already made a preliminary determination to issue a Mercury Operating Permit to Reno-based Gemfield Resources LTD. The mine would be located approximately 30 miles south of Tonopah and one mile north of Goldfield.

JoAnn Kittrell, public information manager at the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said the Nevada Mercury Control Program is a state regulatory program that requires mercury emissions controls on thermal units at precious metal mines, follows a strict review and analysis process of the permit application “to ensure that mercury emissions from thermal processes are the lowest achievable based on the maximum achievable control emission technology.”

“After the permit application was reviewed and the decision of issuing the permit was reached, the Nevada Mercury Control Program within the DCNR has no concerns with this permit,” Kittrell said.

The proposed project will not cause or contribute to a violation of any federal or state of Nevada air quality standards, according to the press release.

Kittrell said that compliance with the limits defined in the issued permit is also verified through regular testing, along with rigorous monitoring of the emission control technology itself. The NMCP has achieved emission limits in its regulated facilities that are significantly lower than federal standards, she said.

Gemfield Mine is a new open pit, heap leach, and gold recovery mining operation, according to the press release. The permit is required for the site’s proposed thermal units, which consist of a carbon regeneration kiln, a strip solution tank, an electrowinning cell, a retort, and a melt furnace.

Esmeralda County has 11 mines that have current water pollution control permits. They include Mineral Ridge Gold Mine, Silver Peak Lithium, Lone Mountain Turquoise mines and seven small gold operations. There is also a permitted but not constructed gold mine on the north side of Tonopah called Three Hills Mine.

While Beatty has seen an uptick in gold exploration over the last year, Kittrell said that the workload in the Bureau of Mining Regulation and Reclamation for new permits and permit modifications has been “at a normal level” during the last year.

“There has been an increased interest in lithium, but there have been no new permit applications generated for lithium projects yet. We would anticipate an increase in gold mine permitting activity only after a sustained increase in gold prices,” Kittrell said.

Those who want to comment on the proposed permit should submit their comments to Ryan Clark, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Air Pollution Control, 901 S. Stewart Street, Suite 4001, Carson City, NV 89701.

A link to the Notice of Proposed Action, Director’s Review, and Draft Air Permit can be found at https://ndep.nv.gov/posts/category/public-notices/air

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Pahrump Fairgrounds water applications protested by Great Basin Water Co.

For more than a decade and a half, the town of Pahrump has been working toward development of a huge patch of land with the ultimate goal of turning 427 acres of property into a major recreation facility, the Pahrump Fairgrounds.

Pahrump parcel fee hike overturned by Nye commissioners

Many Pahrump area property owners have been angry these past few weeks about a future hike in the per parcel fee assessed on their property taxes. And owners haven’t been shy about expressing their frustrations either.

Nevada 2020 Democratic caucus includes early voting option

The Nevada 2020 Democratic Caucus, the “First in the West” as it is proudly being hailed, is just over a month away, and the Nevada Democratic Party is preparing for the major undertaking that will help decide the Democratic presidential nomination.

Tourism Commission recommends candidates to lead agency

The Nevada Commission on Tourism has recommended two candidates from Northern Nevada to direct the agency that has been without a leader for more than two years.

Army veteran receives Silver Star medal – 50 years later

The forbidding jungle, hot and steamy on an early March day, shrouded the movement for the North Vietnamese Army as they infiltrated the border from Cambodia to South Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

Nye County employee faces theft, embezzlement charges

A longtime employee in the Nye County Juvenile Probation Department is facing at least three theft-related felonies for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from the department.

Former Pahrump Arts Council official arrested

The former president of the Pahrump Arts Council was arrested in early January on suspicion of embezzlement. Kristin Swan also was arrested on suspicion of obtaining money under false pretenses and theft, between $640 and $3,500, according to information from the the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.

Nevada redistricting group files amended petition

A group seeking to turn the once-a-decade process of redistricting political lines in Nevada over to a commission rather than the Legislature has refiled a petition with the secretary of state, after a judge ruled the original was misleading.

After roughly a century, bighorn sheep return to Pyramid Lake

Nevada state officials and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe worked to reintroduce desert bighorn sheep to the hills above the lake Monday, the first time since the early 1900s that they’ve been seen in the area 50 miles north of Reno.