BATTLE MOUNTAIN – The Bureau of Land Management released its Final Environmental Impact Statement Oct. 6 for a proposed open-pit gold mine 30 miles northwest of Eureka, which could create up to 120 jobs.
McEwen Mining Inc.’s Gold Bar Mine Project proposal would disturb 1,154 acres, including: redisturbing 420 acres of existing, nonreclaimed disturbance from a previous abandoned mining operation; 718 acres of new disturbance; and 16 acres of new disturbance as a result of exploration. Of the 1,154 acres, 185 acres would be on private land, and 969 acres would be on public land.
The FEIS includes four alternatives that examine the mine’s range of potential impacts to natural resources in the area, such as water resources, air quality, vegetation, wildlife, livestock grazing, recreation and cultural resources.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released for a 45-day public comment period, which ended April 17. A public meeting was held in Eureka on March 22. A total of 2,178 comment letters were received from the general public, agencies, special interest groups, businesses and organizations. The FEIS responds to all comments received.
The BLM’s preferred alternative is the Proposed Action, which includes environmental protection measures, as well as mitigation measures. A Record of Decision is expected to be issued by the BLM after the 30-day waiting period.
The proposed action is in accordance with BLM priorities, including working with partners to promote multiple uses on public lands, promoting job creation and supporting working landscapes.
The FEIS is available online at http://bit.ly/2gyfZms.