ELKO - Great Basin Resource Watch and the Western Shoshone Defense Project are appealing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's study and an approval of Round Mountain Mine's expansion plans.

"The opening brief is due the end of the month," said Roger Flynn, the lawyer for the two organizations that filed a notice of appeal with the Interior Board of Land Appeals.

Flynn said pit lake standards could be one of the issues because both the Round Mountain Pit and the planned Gold Hill open pit will have pit lakes when mining ends.

Kinross Gold Corp. is expanding the Round Mountain Pit now and planning to develop the Gold Hill, which will be a new mine nearby.

Kinross is the mine operator and 50 percent owner. Barrick Gold Corp. owns the other 50 percent of the mine in Nye County.

Gerald Smith, the field manager for the Battle Mountain BLM District, said Friday that in addition to Great Basin Resource Watch and the Western Shoshone Defense Project an individual has filed an appeal with the IBLA.

Audrey Casey of Round Mountain is appealing over a land issue.

Smith said the notices of appeals must be followed within 30 days with statements of reasons.

Round Mountain General Manager Randy Burggraff said late last week that work has started on the expansion at the Round Mountain site, but Gold Hill construction isn't slated until next year.

- Adella Harding

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