Robinson Mine plans expansion
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Robinson Mine plans expansion

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Robinson Copper Mine

Robinson Copper Mine

ELY – An environmental analysis is being prepared for an expansion at the Robinson Copper Mine that would extend mining to 2028.

The mine is on private and public lands about seven miles west of Ely.

The amendment would authorize KGHM Robinson to resume mining in the Liberty Pit, construct the new King Waste Rock Dump south of the Liberty and Ruth Pits, and expand storage capacity at the Giroux Wash Tailings Storage Facility.

The environmental study will analyze an alternative to resume waste rock placement on the North Tripp Waste Rock Dump, requiring North Tripp Waste Rock Dump expansion.

The proposed activities would result in a total increase of approximately 1,227 acres of surface disturbance within the Project Area Boundary for a new end of mine life total surface disturbance of 10,115 acres.

The EIS will also analyze reclassification of the Visual Resource Management system at Robinson Mine “to allow for significant modifications in the character of the landscape,” according to the BLM.

“The BLM supports the sustainable and responsible development of the Nation’s energy and natural resources and strives to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve,” said BLM Nevada State Director Jon Raby. “We know how important mining is to the people and economy of Nevada, which is why we welcome public review of this proposal as we begin the process of preparing an EIS.”

The Robinson Mine is considered by the U.S. Geological Survey to be one of the largest Porphyry-Related mining operations in the world and employs more than 600 workers, according to the BLM. In addition to copper, Robinson now also produces molybdenum, gold and some silver.

Mining in the Robinson District dates to 1868, when early mining activity in the area centered on small deposits of precious metals. Mining for precious metals declined near the turn of the century and by the early 1900s, mining in the district focused almost exclusively on copper.

Large scale copper mining began at the Robinson mine in 1908 and continued until 1999, when it was closed due to low copper prices. Since being reopened in 2004, the mine has produced an average of approximately 125 million pounds of copper per year.

The Bureau of Land Management’s publication of notice in the Federal Register on Thursday initiates a 30-day public scoping period that concludes June 29.

The BLM will host virtual public scoping meetings to provide information and gather input on the Robinson Mine Expansion and Resource Management Plan Amendment project.

Dates and information on how to log in and participate will be announced at least 15 days in advance. Questions related to the meetings can be directed to BLM Project Manager Tiera Arbogast at 775-293-5042 or tarbogast@blm.gov.

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