BATTLE MOUNTAIN – The Bureau of Land Management has completed a final Environmental Impact Statement for Barrick Cortez Inc.’s proposal to expand its existing open pit and underground gold mine operations in the Cortez Gold Mines operations area.

The mining operations currently employ about 1,250 people from the northern Nevada towns of Elko, Battle Mountain, Winnemucca, Eureka, Carlin and surrounding areas. If the Deep South Expansion Project is approved, the company expects to extend the mine life and employment opportunities for its workforce by another 12 years.

According to Barrick, the operation has a net payroll of approximately $128 million. Barrick also pays about $4 million a year in sales tax, $35 million in property taxes and $11 million in business taxes at Cortez, the company stated.

The Deep South Expansion Project includes increasing the existing approved plan boundary by 4,279 acres — from 58,093 acres to 62,372. The project would consist of new and expanded facilities on BLM-administered lands and private lands.

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The BLM’s work on the environmental review has been expedited by an executive order from President Donald Trump to significantly shorten the permitting process managed by the Department of Interior.

When developed, there would be an increase of approximately 3,800 acres of mining-related surface disturbance within the expanded CGM Operations Area, of which 73 percent would be on BLM-administered lands. The project will include expansion of open pits, underground mine and waste rock facilities, construction and expansion of water management facilities, and construction and operation of additional ancillary facilities.

After a 30-day review process, the BLM’s Mount Lewis Field Office will make a determination to either approve the project or select the “no action alternative.”

The final EIS and other relevant documents are available at https://go.usa.gov/xmQR9. For questions regarding the final EIS, contact BLM Project Manager Kevin Hurrell at 775-635-4000.

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