BEATTY — Construction of the AngloGold Ashanti building in Beatty is on hold, company Vice President Wayne Chancellor told the Beatty Town Advisory Board on Oct. 9, at least until the company’s board of directors approve the North Bullfrog project next month.
The company holds several properties in the area, including four potential gold mines and one mine previously in operation, now in care and maintenance status.
The company has a temporary core-cutting facility operating on property they own on the airport road, and plan soon to construct a more substantial core shed there with an accompanying laydown yard later this year. They put an additional trailer and a restroom facility on the lot next to the Beatty VFW post.
AGA bought the Springdale property, but officials said they do not plan to use it for mining operations or anything connected with it. Chancellor said that they are consulting with the Nature Conservancy, which owns adjacent property, regarding ecological and historical preservation. They have conducted some biological and hydrological surveys.
The North Bullfrog project is the furthest-along of AGA’s Beatty properties when it comes to being ready to commence active mining. Approval of that project’s feasibility study is expected next month, with construction to begin in early 2025 and first gold production late that year.
Except for the Sterling property, which was previously mined, the North Bullfrog is actually the smallest of the potential projects in terms of the amount of gold it is expected to produce, which is approximately 1.54 million ounces.
The most promising in terms of production are the Silicon and Merlin properties, which are close enough together that AGA has decided to refer to them as the Expanded Silicon project. Gold production for Silicon is estimated at 4.22 million ounces, while exploration at the Merlin site is suggesting the possibility of 6-8 million ounces. The company continues exploratory drilling, and these numbers could expand.
The potential impact of all this mining activity will have significant impact on Beatty, and Chancellor said that the company is working on a housing plan, and once mining operations are approved by the board, AGA will consult with the appropriate agencies, such as the water and sewer district and the school board to assist with infrastructure needs.
AGA set up the Beatty Foundation to manage the company’s community spending initiatives. Beatty resident Debbie Baker chairs the board.
The company has taken on two sponsorships for Beatty Days and plans to have three booths at the event. Chancellor said they are also talking with their equipment supplier about the possibility of displaying a large piece of equipment such as a haul truck.
Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.