BATTLE MOUNTAIN – The Bureau of Land Management has approved a proposed expansion of the Phoenix Mine, an open-pit gold and copper operation roughly 12 miles southwest of Battle Mountain.
The decision comes after analysis of the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts associated with Newmont USA Limited’s proposal.
The mine 12 miles southwest of Battle Mountain employs about 500 people.
The expansion would be on BLM-managed public land and would extend mining from 2040 to 2063, according to a draft of the proposal.
Newmont began operating the Phoenix Mine in 2006.
The proposed project will extend mine life from 2040 to 2063, and increase surface disturbance by 3,497 acres (from 8,374 to 11,871 acres) on both BLM-administered lands (2,575 acres) and private land (922 acres).
Proposed activities consist of expansion through consolidation of existing pits as well as the expansion of the existing waste rock facility, tailings storage facility, heap leach facility, and clay soil borrow area.
Activities will occur on areas with existing disturbance and also in areas where there will be new disturbance.
A total of 178 comments were received during the public comment process, and responses to the comments have been incorporated into the final Environmental Impact Statement, which was made available to the public on Aug. 3.