CARSON CITY – The Nevada Excellence in Mine Reclamation were presented to five winners this year. Coeur Rochester Inc. received an award for Cooperative Partnership in Preservation of Mining History for contributing a permanent Historic Rochester Mining District exhibit to the Marzen House Museum in Lovelock, and for their 13th year of involvement in the annual Lovelock Cave Days event in Pershing County.
The mining company “has long been involved with conserving and interpreting the significance of the historical sites that have been disturbed by its operations and conveying this history to the public,” according to the Nevada Division of Minerals.
Lithium Nevada Corp. received an award for Exploration Project Remediation for reclaiming drill pads and access roads following the Upper Basin Exploration Project in the Montana Mountains in Humboldt County. The project totaled 3.87 acres of disturbance within greater sage-grouse habitat that is also home to other sensitive species.
“Implementation of the Upper Basin Exploration Project and the subsequent successful reclamation demonstrates that mineral exploration can occur concurrently in sensitive habitat with favorable results,” according to the Nevada Division of Minerals.
KGHM received an award for Leadership in Reclamation for its work in incorporating creative reclamation controls into new waste facilities, which help mitigate legacy acid mine drainage environmental issues in White Pine County. Robinson is part of a mining district where mining dates back to before waste rock liners were used to prevent soil and water contamination. Liners are now constructed at Robinson so that neutralizing waste rock provides a buffer to interior acid-generating rock. The company also uses lined evaporation ponds to catch and contain acid seep flows from old liners.
“Both measures have reduced seep flow rates and degradation to groundwater or nearby surface waters to almost negligible amounts in some areas,” according to the Nevada Division of Minerals. Kinross Gold U.S.A Inc. received an award for Leadership in Conservation Planning for voluntarily enrolling into the Nevada Conservation Credit System to mitigate impacts to Greater Sage-grouse and its habitats for its mine expansion at the Bald Mountain Mine in White Pine County.
Newmont Mining Corp. received an award for Concurrent Reclamation for innovative work in reclaiming their North Area Leach Facility, Phase I-II, while continuing to operate other parts of the facility, in Eureka County.
The water pollution control permit stipulates that 225 acres of reclamation be completed before the mine can expand its NAL. The final stage with 115 acres is scheduled to be completed in 2019, according to the Nevada Division of Minerals.
This is the 27th year of the Nevada Excellence in Mine Reclamation Awards. The awards committee consists of representatives from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service and the Division of Minerals. To receive an award, the committee must unanimously vote that the submission or nomination is above and beyond what is mandated, and is a worthy example to share with others in the industry.
“The goal of the annual State Reclamation Awards is to encourage operators and explorers to submit sound reclamation plans, raise industry standards, and increase public awareness of the positive aspects of mining, and encourage innovation in reclamation techniques. This year’s award winners met these goals and are to be commended for their efforts,” said Rich Perry, Administrator of the Nevada Division of Minerals. “By sharing their work with others, the Nevada Mining and Exploration industries continue to lead the Nation in successful reclamation, community partnerships and environmental protection practices.”
Winners were recognized at the Nevada Mining Association Convention on Sept. 8 in Stateline.