P U BL I S H E D BY T H E E L K O D A I LY F R E E P R E S S
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Booming Winnemucca Luis Zamayoa holds a jackleg drill in the underground of Turquoise Ridge Joint Venture. Mines throughout the area are growing, and Winnemucca should soon see an influx of residents as Turquoise Ridge and Hycroft hire more employees.
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
— INSIDE — WINNEMUCCA IMPACTS Hollister may have new owner — Hycroft continues to grow —
Turquoise Ridge improvements —
Industrycontinues to grow
GENERAL MOLY Mt. Hope finally moving dirt — Page 32
VERIS GOLD Jerritt Canyon sees changes —
NEWMONT Gold Quarry deepens —
Phoenix continues copper facility —
BARRICK BLM needs comments on Arturo — Page 38 Ruby Hill may expand —
ELKO — Mining in Nevada doesn’t molybdenum mine to its ranks. The U.S. seem to be stopping any time soon. Bureau of Land Management finally For this issue of the Mining Quarterly, issued General Moly its record of deciwe look at how the industry is growing sion for the Mt. Hope project in and thriving throughout December, after more than the Silver State and how it six years of planning. is branching out Earthwork started on throughout the West. the site and new buildings While 2012 was a year may appear this spring. for gold, 2013 looks to add However, the mine still more copper and possibly may have some hurdles molybdenum to the mix. since Great Basin Resource Gold prices were consisWatch requested the BLM tently above $1,600 in 2012 rescind the decision. and don’t look to be dropAnother new mine ping in the near future. looking to receive approval Those gold prices are will be on an old site. encouraging to companies Barrick Gold Corp. has large and small to expand begun the paperwork for Nevada’s mines. the Arturo Mine, located This year, many sites on the Dee Mine site that will increase in size, but shut down in 2000 in Elko the ones near Winnemucca County. will especially have an As the future of mining ARIANNE impact on the town’s popcontinues, we at the ulation. OBAK C OWN Mining Quarterly strive to Allied Nevada Gold remember the industry’s Corp. is trying to alleviate some of the past. This time around, in our Blasts burden its Hycroft expansion will have From the Past series, we visit Treasure on the Humboldt County city. City and its surrounding White Pine Great Basin Gold Corp. will go through County area in the Humboldt National a transition this year, but still has plans Forest. to expand its Hollister Underground. Our staff also wrote about several of Turquoise Ridge Joint Venture conthe people who work in the industry to tinues to improve but is also going show the human side of mining. through design changes. You can find the details on all these Newmont Mining Corp.’s Phoenix stories and more in this edition of the Mine is on course to finish its new Mining Quarterly. ——————— copper facility this August. The electrowinning process will allow the copper Marianne Kobak McKown is editor of the Mining Quarterly and mining editor for to go directly from the mine to the custhe Elko Daily Free Press. She can be tomer. reached at email@example.com. Nevada also will finally add a long-life
BLASTS FROM THE PAST SERIES Mountain of silver in Treasure City —
Find the job you want — Pages 132-133
MINING QUARTERLY John Pfeifer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Publisher Marianne Kobak McKown . . . . . . . . . . Editor To advertise, call 775-738-3118 Mining Quarterly is published in March,June, September and December by the Elko Daily Free Press (USPS No. 173-4320) at 3720 Idaho Street, Elko, Nevada 89801, by Lee Publications Inc., a subsidiary of Lee Enterprises. Periodical postage paid at the Elko Post Office. For change of address write 3720 Idaho St., Elko NV 89801
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Above: Tricia Evans, senior geologist for Great Basin Gold, points out where the gold is found in a core sample. The pink circles the area of gold. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
At right: Great Basin Gold Vice President of Nevada Operations Joe Driscoll talks about the company’s search for a new owner. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
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Great Basin Gold to change ownership, but Hollister Mine still growing By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
WINNEMUCCA — Despite Great Basin Gold looking for a new owner, its Hollister Mine continues to move forward with a planned expansion. The mining company is meeting with potential buyers and may have a new owner by the end of March, said Great Basin Gold Vice President of Nevada Operations Joe Driscoll. Hollister produced 70,000 ounces in 2012 and is still budgeted to mine about 350 tons of material per day. Driscoll said the mine is planning to start surface drilling in the spring and ordered a new bolter in January. Great Basin Gold had to look for a new owner after some issues with its South African property. The company filed for protection in South Africa and this caused the assets to be split up, Driscoll said. The Nevada operations are still profitable, he said. “We are no longer affiliated with the South African group,” Driscoll said. “We are affiliated with Alvarez and Marsal from San Francisco. They are helping us broker a deal with the bank.” Great Basin’s Nevada operations include three properties: Hollister, the Pinnacle Lab
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Teresa Conner, environmental manager for Great Basin Gold Nevada Operations, talks about the mine’s possible expansion. in Lovelock and the Esmeralda Mill. Hollister employs 178 people, the lab has seven and the mill has 45 in Hawthorne. There are no immediate plans to hire more people. “When the sale goes through it will be status quo,” Driscoll said. “I’m confident it will happen,” he said. Expansion Waiting for a new owner does not mean the company has stopped moving forward on expanding Hollister. The Hollister Underground Mine Project is about 47 miles northwest of Elko and 64 miles northeast of Winnemucca in Elko County. This project is located at the old Ivanhoe open-pit mine site. The main area surrounding the pit is in the Tosawihi archeological district, which covers about 3,800 acres. It is also the traditional area where some Shoshone collected chert to make tools, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Great Basin Gold is assisting the BLM with responses to the comments on the environmental impact statement, said Teresa Conner, environmental manager for Great Basin Gold Nevada Operations. See HOLLISTER, 4
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Robin Solt, senior core logging geologist for Great Basin Gold, looks through a microscope to identify the minerals in a core sample.
Hollister ... Continued from page 3 “The company and BLM are both committed to completing the EIS,” she said. “We’re wrapping up the loose ends on the EIS.” The company has a mitigation and monitoring plan and is working on a programmatic agreement for the cultural resources. “It will allow for surface exploration while protecting the cultural resources,” Conner said. The company is also working with the BLM on the power line right of way. “None of this can happen until after the record of decision,” Conner said.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
The view through a microscope shows gold on a core sample from the Hollister Mine. She is hopeful the BLM will issue the final EIS sometime this month. “I’m hoping to get the record of decision by the second quarter,” Conner said. “We’re down to the last few details.” Once the EIS is approved the mine could increase production up to 1,000 tons per day. “We have some work to do before we can get to 1,000 tons,” Conner said. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
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Tricia Evans, senior geologist for Great Basin Gold, explains where the gold is found in a core sample.
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Hollister ... Continued from page 5 Finding the Gold Hollister has two drill rigs underground, said senior geologist Tricia Evans. The drills take core samples and send them to the geologists to look for the gold. Hollister has high-grade ore in the quartz veins of the rocks. “This is almost 30 millionyear-old rocks,” Evans said. The darker color cores are sedimentary rocks. Evans said geologists categorize the sam- Want to see what ples by their time frame. She said the miners experience during an the black rock is Ordovician. underground “This type of rock has about blast? Go to 80 percent of our ore,” she said. elkodaily.com The geologists examine the core samples to help the underground miners determine where to dig. The lighter color cores are tertiary volcanic rock and are younger than the Ordovician. The volcanic rock was formed from volcanic ash flow and is overlaid on top of the older rock, Evans said. The volcanic rock extends to the surface and the Ordovician is found 600 feet beneath the surface.
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
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Ray Landry, development miner, ties explosives together underground in Hollister. General Foreman Rosco Hamilton is in the foreground.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Above: Matt Snyder, left, and Troy Fuller talk near a raised crib. At right: One of the tight mining areas in Hollister. Great Basin Gold miners Shaun Gilliland, left, and Jesus Sanchez are working in the narrow stope. Below right: Great Basin Gold General Foreman Rosco Hamilton, right, explains how miners build the timbers in Hollister. Mining Quarterly Editor Marianne Kobak McKown listens.
Hollister ... Continued from page 6 Evans said the gold in Hollister was formed when the Yellowstone hot spot was under the site. “We have a lot of the same features as Yellowstone,” she said. “The hot spot moved.” Evans said the other feature that allowed gold to be deposited in the Hollister area was the ground’s “good plumbing system” — fractures in the rocks, quartz and ground water. “We also had a dry, arid climate to preserve it,” she said. Conventional Mining Hollister’s ore is found in narrow veins, which means it is a conventional mine rather than mechanized. “A mine our size will never make tons (of material),” said General Foreman Rosco Hamilton. He said larger underground mines average 1,200 tons a day and Hollister mines about 300 tons a day. Hamilton has been in the mining industry for 24 years and 17 of those have been spent in Nevada. He began in conventional mining but also worked at mechanized sites. Hamilton said he prefers working in conventional gold mines. While the mine has 30-ton haul trucks, everything
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else is conventional. Blast patterns are drilled by handheld machines and the mining is done in stopes, which are fortified by timbers. It is modern underground mining, but it still uses some of the technology that was developed in mines from the 1800s, such as the square-set timbering. The timbers are constructed to keep the muck from blocking the stope. Miners work above the stope and send the muck down through a shaft in the timbers. An underground truck collects the muck and hauls it to the surface. In one of the functioning stopes in Hollister, the miners have to climb 60 feet up a ladder to reach the ore, Hamilton said. Some mining areas in conventional mines can be as high as 200 feet above the mucker collection area. This means miners may have to climb a 200-foot ladder every day to reach the ore. Most of the stopes the miners work in are 8 feet. How the timbers are built depends on the ground conditions. Normal prep time to build a raised crib, the
area where the muck containing ore is collected, takes 11 days. One area that the miners were constructing took longer because there was a lot of water and large boulders to contend with, said miner Troy Fuller. “This is the art of conventional mining,” Hamilton said. “Troy teaches the younger guys. ... We’re going to keep this art alive for a long time to come.”
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Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
A concrete slab is lifted during construction of Hycroft Mine’s new crusher building.
Young and Growing Allied Nevada expands Hycroft, housing in Winnemucca By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
WINNEMUCCA — Growth and change is the name of the game at Hycroft Mine. The Humboldt County mine — located 54 miles west of Winnemucca — is owned by a young company, Allied Nevada Gold Corp. It was incorporated in 2006 and started operations in May 2007. Despite Allied Nevada’s youth, mining in the area stretches back to the 1800s. The site went through several changes in 2012 and culminated with Hycroft receiving its record of decision in August to expand the mine. “We are pretty aggressive in growth,” said Warren Woods, Allied Nevada vice president of asset management. “Our strategy is to take advantage of the high metal See HYCROFT, 12
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Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
Allied Nevada is building its own subdivision to help alleviate the housing issues in Winnemucca. These homes should be ready for residents by the end of March. Allied Nevada is funding the subdivision that will consist of about 300 units of single family homes and townhomes.
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Hycroft ... Continued from page 10 prices. ... Once the EIS (environmental impact statement) was approved we hit the ground running.” When Allied Nevada acquired Hycroft it had a three-year mine life and the gold price was at $700 to $800, Woods said. Since then the price steadily climbed and stayed above $1,600 an ounce for most of 2012. The mine is now estimated to last through 2028. “We’re a young company that’s on the move,” Woods said. Gold and silver sales at Hycroft are expected to increase this year to about 225,000 to 250,000 ounces of gold and 1.5 million to 1.8 million ounces of silver. The 2013 adjusted cash cost to mine at Hycroft ranges from $565 to $585 per ounce, with silver as a byproduct credit, according to Allied Nevada. Hycroft paid $7 million in sales tax last year and it will be closer to $10.5 million this year, Woods said.
Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
A diesel shovel loads one of Allied Nevada’s haul trucks at the Hycroft Mine.
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Hycroft Mine Site Expansion From 1987 to 1998, Hycroft — under a different owner — produced more than 1 million ounces of gold through open pit
heap leaching process, according to Allied Nevada. Now, the site operations involve open pit mining and run-of-mine heap leaching of oxide ore from the Brimstone and Bay pits. “There are five different pits,” Woods said. “Ultimately we’ll end up turning them into one pit.” The Brimstone Pit is where the mine started in 2008, Woods said. The Bay area is an older pit with backfill. The expansion area of the mine is the Vortex Pit. The mine expansion will be a $1.2 billion investment for Allied Nevada. The expansion includes a new mill, gyratory crushing system, additional leach pad space and larger mining equipment. One of Allied Nevada’s first steps to increase mining at Hycroft was to purchase larger equipment. The site has 16 320-ton Komatsu haul trucks, two 795 Caterpillars, and two new trucks were being completed on site in January. Woods said it takes two weeks to put a haul truck together on site. The mine site also has four hydraulic diesel-shovels and ordered three large electric, wire-rope shovels from Caterpillar. The first left Milwaukee Jan. 21. To accommodate the increased oxide materials, Hycroft will expand its heap leach pads. Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
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The heap leach pad at Hycroft will soon have an addition.
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Hycroft ... Continued from page 13 The Brimstone leach pad is 9 million square feet and will be increased another 8 million square feet, Woods said. This extension isn’t the only heap leach improvement at Hycroft. Contractors are preparing another site for a 20 million square foot heap leach pad. Woods said the mine will be able to use the new leach pad area in the second quarter of this year. Hycroft also is building a new Merrill Crowe plant to help process the ore. “The old plant processed 5,000 gallons per minute and the new one will do 20,000 gallons per minute,” Woods said. “The new plant is additional capacity. We will continue to run the old plant.” A Merrill Crowe plant is the type of extraction process used at gold mines that have a lot of silver in the ground, Woods said. “We have a lot of silver so our bars are more silver than gold,” he said. “We have 6 1/2 ounces of silver for every ounce of gold.” The materials are placed on a heap leach pad and a solution — containing the rare minerals — is sent to a pond. That solution is then brought into the plant where it is cleaned using diatomaceous earth. “We suck the oxygen out of the solution and replace it with zinc,” Woods said. “The gold and silver will lock up on the zinc.”
Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
Contractors work on the foundation for the new Merrill Crowe plant at Hycroft. One of the new ponds is to the left. Construction See HYCROFT, 17 workers had to stop lining the ponds because of the weather in January.
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Hycroft ... Continued from page 15 Then the solution is sent through filter presses that collect the zinc, which holds the gold and silver, he said. In a separate process some of the material is sent to the carbon columns. The columns produce 1,500 gallons per minute. The last step in the oxide expansion is the construction of a gyratory crushing plant and mill. The mine recovers 56.6 percent of the gold and 12 percent of the silver. Once crushing begins, it will improve the recovery to 62 percent gold and 16 percent silver, according to the company website. The gyratory crushing plant should be operational halfway through this year. Once completed, it should increase the mineâ€™s annual gold production to about 300,000 ounces, and silver production to more than 1 million ounces in 2014. Woods said the crusher was brought in early to crush the oxide material, which will be placed on the north pad until the mill is completed. He said once the Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
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Allied Nevada Vice President of Asset Management Warren Woods explains how these filter presses work at Hycroft.
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Hycroft ... Continued from page 17 crusher structures are completed, it will allow three 320-ton trucks to dump material at the same time into the crusher system. The mill is being built to allow Hycroft to process sulfide materials as well as oxide. Hycroft will have the largest mill in Nevada. It will process 130,000 tons of material a day. Production from the new mill is expected to average 582,260 ounces of gold and 29.1 million ounces of silver between 2015 and 2024. Housing Issue The growth of Hycroft brings with it several issues, including a lack of housing in Winnemucca. “We’ve had a housing shortage the last year, year and a half,” said City Manager Steve West. Woods said the company saw the need and decided to help. “We have 490 employees right now and we will get up to 700 when all is said Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
Workers assemble two 320-ton haul trucks. These are the latest additions to the Hycroft fleet. A single truck takes about two weeks to complete.
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Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
Above: Construction workers build townhomes, far left, and work on the foundations of singlefamily homes. Allied Nevada is funding the subdivision that will consist of about 300 units of single family homes and townhomes. Below: The trailers for the Hycroft man camp sit at the Winnemucca Fairgrounds.
Hycroft ... Continued from page 18 and done,” Woods said. “Housing got to be such a big issue here with us that we got into a subdivision,” Woods said. Allied Nevada invested $18 million into development of 300 units of townhomes and one- and two-bedroom houses. Construction of the subdivision began in November and Woods said the first homes should be ready for residents in March. “Not all the homes will be for Hycroft but the first 88 will be designated for Hycroft employees,” Woods said. “Employees have trouble finding housing. This will bring a little relief.” Residents will have a place to live and play since the company is also constructing a park in the middle of the subdivision. Housing the mine’s new employees isn’t the only problem Allied Nevada is tackling. “Winnemucca would have a hard time keeping up with housing the construction workers,” Woods said. Hycroft will have 200 to 300 contractors during site construction, and when building the mill there will be an influx of 400 additional construction workers, Woods said. To alleviate this, the company is building an $8 million man camp. The trailers will have room for 490 contractors and the camp will also have 66 or 88 recreational vehicle spots. A common area and rec center also is under construction at the man camp. While the earthwork and other preparation is being completed at the man camp, the trailers are temporarily set up on the Winnemucca Fairgrounds. Allied Nevada upgraded the sewer system at the fairgrounds in exchange for the man camp’s tempo-
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rary home. The sewer system upgrade cost $100,000. West said the Winnemucca Convention and Visitors Authority allowed the company to use the fairgrounds. He said the trailers will be at the fairgrounds until June of 2014. “The mayor and everyone is very forward thinking,” Woods said. “The city and county have been great to work with,” Woods said. “Going through the whole building process has been relatively painless for us.” West said the city is also working with the subdivision developer on the collector streets to help with traffic. He said the mine’s expansion will give Winnemucca a “pretty substantial increase in population” and will fast track the sewer system upgrade. West said the sewage treatment plant will have to expand. “I’m just glad they’re addressing the housing situation,” West said of Allied Nevada. “I’m glad they stepped up to the plate. I’m glad they got ahead of the issue.” A Future Look Allied Nevada isn’t stopping at expanding just the mining at Hycroft. “We’re building a rail spur,” Woods said. “Hopefully it will be operational by year end. We will use it to bring in commodities.” He said moving items by train will alleviate traffic on Jungo Road — the main vehicle artery to the mine. “It also is a good way to bring in the heavy stuff like mill balls,” Woods said. “It also allows for other markets. We can haul in at a better rate.” In January, the site was installing a simulator to instruct new and current employees on how to operate haul trucks and shovels. “It’s a good tool to have, and most of us have used them,” Woods said. “It’s getting pretty common now. They’ve been proven to improve proficiency and safety.” A new administration building will be added this summer because the company has outgrown the old one, Woods said. The site also will expand its four-bay, 35,000 square foot truck shop by another four bays. Allied Nevada is also trying to develop other properties. It is working on permitting the Hasbrouck project, which is five miles south of Tonopah in Esmeralda County.
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Recycling: More than just cans Pacific Steel provides service to mines, public By HEATHER KENNISON Mining Quarterly
ELKO — There’s more to recycling than paper and plastic. Pacific Steel & Recycling transports thousands of tons of metals a year, including scrap aluminum, steel, copper, brass and tin. “The average person thinks recycling is all cans,” said Elko branch manager Kelly Wilson. “This is all industrial, and the value outweighs that.” Mining Quarterly/Heather Kennison
Assistant Manager Derek Standley, left, and Recycling Supervisor Matt Hoyer stand in front of a CAT 330D as it removes new mill balls from a rail car using a magnet.
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Pacific ... Continued from page 22 Pacific Steel contracts with Barrick Gold of North America, Newmont Mining Corp. and the city landfill for scrap metal recovery. Additionally, NV Energy brings in old meters for recycling. Mines account for about 75 percent of Pacific Steel’s business, Wilson said. This includes demolition projects and recycling retired mining equipment and vehicles. “When they have a large building that’s obsolete, we come in and tear it down,” Wilson said. The company pays for the materials based on local and regional market prices. “Recycling is one of the last free markets there is,” Wilson said. “I try to keep pricing competitive so our customers don’t have to go to Salt Lake (City).” Pacific Steel has 140 roll-off containers that Elko businesses and mine sites can use. All of its employees are certified with the Mine Safety and Health Administration as well as being Browz compliant, something that is required by Mining Quarterly/Heather Kennison
Luis Orozco uses a torch to break apart a 5500 shovel bucket at Pacific Steel & Recycling.
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Mining Quarterly/Heather Kennison
Above: A large pile of used mill balls sits next to the rail tracks at Pacific Steel & Recycling. At left: Mechanic Rob Weikel works on a Komatsu loader at Pacific Steel & Recycling.
Pacific ... Continued from page 25 most mines, Wilson said. Materials are sorted into industry standard grades, cut and shipped by rail to facilities in Utah and the Midwest for reprocessing. “We average about six (rail) cars a week in scrap material,” said Matt Hoyer, recycling supervisor. But Pacific Steel not only recycles, it provides a full line of new structural metals as well. “We store the new products and have process lines in
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here to fit customers’ needs,” said Assistant Manager Derek Standley. The company does first-level processing of metals. Employee-owned, customer oriented Pacific Steel started in the 1800s as a hide and fur business, Wilson said. Since 1996, the company has been entirely employee-owned. “Within Pacific (Steel), we have about 850 employees and they own the company,” Wilson said. “That makes a difference.” The Elko branch, which opened in 2009, currently employs about 25 people and is hiring, Wilson said. Hoyer said the majority of his time is spent juggling paperwork and setting up contracts. “I worked out in the yard for a while,” Hoyer said.“I enjoy it, it’s a good company to work for.” Besides contracting with other businesses and mines, Pacific Steel is open to the general public for recycling exchanges or metal orders. “We recycle any metal,as well as cardboard,” Wilson said. That umbrella includes most electronics, and is generally free of charge. “We are the only recycler in our nine-state footprint that has that R2 certification, and we’re proud of that,” Wilson said. When bringing in old computer monitors, customers pay a fee of 30 cents per pound, since it costs the company to dispose of the monitors, Wilson said. The company will not accept microwaves. The company’s website, pacific-steel.com, states that Pacific Steel carries agricultural products, such as gates, calving pens and barbed wire. Some local
thing,” Wilson said. Other branches, such as the one in Salt Lake City, have the scrap metal brought to the location by businesses. Instead, this branch picks up the scrap metal itself. But if you think the isolated location is a recipe for theft, think again. Wilson said that theft can be a problem in the business, but has been deterred. “As the price of copper and brass goes up, the risk of theft does,” he said. The company stores its scrap metal in locked warehouses set up with cameras and alarms with motion detectors. Some people have attempted to bring stolen metals to the company in exchange for cash. In cases of theft, companies will sometimes contact Mining Quarterly/Heather Kennison Pacific Steel to warn that stolen propPacific Steel & Recycling Manager Kelly Wilson stands in front of a pile of used elec- erty may show up. Pacific Steel requires tronics at the Elko branch. The electronics will be shipped elsewhere to be recycled. identification given at the time of the exchange, and if the metal appears to be ranchers also take advantage of the recycling aspect to stolen, will contact the authorities. bring in old horseshoes, Wilson said. At any one time the company is working on four to five jobs, and may be baling cans into 1000-pound bales Location setbacks Situated in the far reaches of Elko near Osino, the or transporting new and used steel. Pacific Steel is located at 9250 E. Idaho St. in Elko. For Pacific Steel location isn’t ideal for a last-minute errand. Despite this setback, the branch has the conven- information, visit www.pacific-steel.com or call 753-6300. ience of being by the railroad tracks. “The challenge we face is we have to go get every-
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Mining industry paying its fair share in taxes By TIM CROWLEY President Nevada Mining Association
Recent growth of the Nevada mining industry has supported the development of infrastructure, new business and employment throughout the state. Simply drive down Idaho Street in Elko or Third Street in Winnemucca and you can’t miss the new stores and restaurants or the hustle and bustle that comes with robust business development. Equally robust are the state and local tax contributions accompanying the industry’s growth. Despite misleading rhetoric that mining has tax protection in the state constitution, the industry’s contributions have increased precipitously year-over-year and mining remains the state’s leading taxpayer on a per employee basis. Now is the time to ignore the anti-mining sound bites that we’re not paying our fair share, and take a hard look at the actual data. Mining’s contributions are huge and we are helping the state’s economy in a significant way. The industry contributed more than $417 million in taxes to state and local coffers in 2011, which was a whopping 28 percent increase from the previous year and nearly double what was paid in 2010. Mining’s contributions are even more significant when considering that approximately 8.3 percent of Nevada’s total general fund comes from taxes generated by
the mining industry and its employees, despite mining only representing 1 percent of the state’s total employment and 4.4 percent of total economic output. Contrary to the notion that the industry is protected or excused from various forms of taxation, mining must pay all taxes generally imposed on businesses in the state of Nevada, including the modified business (payroll),property,and sales and use taxes. If our industry manufactured consumer goods instead of raw materials, our 2011 tax contributions would have totaled $171.3 million and no more. However, the state constitution requires the industry to pay an additional tax that no other business in Nevada must pay, and this tax, called the Net Proceeds of Minerals Tax, more than doubled the industry’s total tax contributions in 2011 (highlighted in dark brown on the accompanying chart). Mining’s contributions in 2012 (not yet available as of the date of publication) are expected to be even larger. Roughly half of the $245 million contributed from NPOMT in 2011 went directly to the state general fund, and the remainder went to local governments for education, social services and healthcare. When considering taxes paid on a per employee basis, mining paid more than $24,000 per employee in 2011, which is roughly four times the state average for all other industries. We’re covering the societal costs of our employees and their families while also ensuring that mining has a minimal impact on state welfare and Medicaid services. We do this by providing average salaries of nearly $90,000 per year — twice the state average — and giving healthcare insurance and benefits to all full-time workers. Ninety-seven percent of the industry has healthcare compared to 69 percent of the
All data is supported by a recent study done by Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis. rest of Nevada workers, which helps keep the need for taxation for emergency medical services down. Mining’s growth is great for the state. New business is developing and existing businesses are expanding because of their connection to our industry. With this growth comes significant contributions to the state and mining communities as illustrated above, and mining is proud to support positive economic growth and recovery throughout Nevada.
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Governor’s office chooses Valline as mining specialist CARSON CITY — The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development has found its mining industry specialist. GOED and the Nevada Mining Association announced in January the hire of Todd Valline of Elko. Valline will be involved with a new statewide Supply Chain Committee designed to encourage mining support businesses expand their footprints in Nevada. Steve Hill, executive director of GOED, announced the formation of the Supply Chain Committee with the Nevada Mining Association in September. “As a seasoned business professional, Todd will work within GOED and alongside the Nevada Mining Association to further boost the economic development of this core Nevada industry,” Hill stated in a GOED news release. “Through Todd, the issues and challenges faced by the Nevada mining industry will be brought to light so that both the State and the Nevada Mining Association can work to expand the footprint of mining support businesses in Nevada.” A host of businesses support the mines through information technology, security, administration, equipment repair and maintenance. The goal of the committee is to help those businesses establish a stronger presence, create new jobs, and expand intellectual capital. Todd Valline Valline will be based in Elko due to the city’s central proximity to Nevada’s mining region, and the Nevada Mining Association will fund a portion of his salary. “With Todd’s hire, we’ve found a great individual to advance the growth of mining’s supply chain throughout Nevada,” said Tim Crowley, president of the Nevada Mining Association. “I look forward to working with him and seeing the positive effects his efforts have on the industry.” Valline is a longtime resident of Northeastern Nevada and has several years of sales and marketing experience, including his most recent position as industrial sales manager for International Fog Inc. “I am excited to work with the local Regional Development Authorities throughout the state and our mining industry to help define new opportunities for expansion and diversification through the mining supply chain, particularly for rural communities,” Valline said. The GOED, created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, is the result of a collaborative effort between the Legislature and Gov. Brian Sandoval to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses, and facilitate community development. For more information, visit GOED’s website, www.diversifynevada.com.
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General Moly on the move at Mt. Hope By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
EUREKA — The earth is finally moving at General Moly’s Mt. Hope project. After more than six years of planning and permitting, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued Mt. Hope’s record of decision in December. Mt. Hope is a long-life molybdenum mine about 21 miles north of the town of Eureka. Contractors have begun stripping the land of trees and shrubbery so construction can begin on the mine’s infrastructure, said Mt. Hope Site Supervisor Nate Garner. Ames Construction is completing the earthwork. Workers are creating a corridor for the mine’s water line and the power line for Mt. Hope will follow NV Energy’s Falcon to Gonder line. However, the mine will put in a substation since it will use 75 to 80 megawatts each day. In January, Ames was improving the road so truckloads of pipe could be brought to the site, Garner said. The pipeline will stretch about seven miles. The pipeline may be completed by the end of May, said Jim Schaefer, Ames project manager. Workers also are constructing a holding pond. The site will see about 20 months of construction before mining begins, Vice President and General Manager Mike Iannacchione said previously. Mt. Hope is 8,411 feet at ground level. The elevation will lower to 7,050 feet during preproduction and after 44 years of mining the bottom of the pit will be at 4,700 feet.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
A view of Mt. Hope from the water pipeline road. Opposite Page: Mt. Hope Site Supervisor Nate Garner, left, and Jim Schaefer, Ames project manager discuss the mine site. Buildings will be brought in or constructed throughout the year. A security shack is already in place. Garner said the office trailers should be ready by April and some of the permanent structures should be completed by the fall. The demolition of the old mine buildings is scheduled for March 17. Companywide General Moly has 44 employees in Nevada, Arizona and Colorado,
said Zach Spencer, General Moly director of external communications. However the workforce may soon grow since General Moly has started hiring. Once Mt. Hope is fully operational, it will employ 400 to 450 workers. “We had 12 people with five years of employment with General Moly last year,” Spencer said. “This year we will have another 12.” Garner has been with General Moly for five years, but has been in the mining industry for 16 years. Water Rights Issues Water rights for the mine was one of the major factors in the delay of the record of decision. Despite the BLM issuing the decision, the water issue has not gone away completely. State Engineer Jason King granted water rights to the project in 2011. The project would use roughly 7,000 gallons of ground water per minute for mining and processing. Eureka County Commissioners appealed King’s decision, but District Judge Dan Papez upheld the water rights June 13. King’s decision was to change water rights from irrigation so the mine could use See MT HOPE, 34
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Mt Hope ... Continued from front page
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Contractors work at Mt. Hope.
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11,300 acre-feet of water per year in its operations, with water to be recycled through the plant. Papez’s ruling denied all points of Eureka County’s appeal. In July, the commissioners filed an appeal to the State Supreme Court. However, the county did not request a stay, because the commissioners agreed they do not want to stop the mine project. In December, Great Basin Resource Watch petitioned the state director of the BLM for a review of the project. The group asked the director to rescind the record of decision and final EIS. Hadder said GBRW requested the review based on three grounds: • BLM failed to prevent “unnecessary or undue degradation” of public land resources, as required by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and BLM’s implementing regulations when it approved the project. • The FEIS/ROD is based on incorrect and unsupportable assumptions and positions regarding Eureka Moly LLC’s alleged “statutory right” to have the project approved under the mining law. • BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act. BLM spokeswoman JoLynn Worley said the state director will review the petition. Meanwhile, the decision and final EIS remain in effect. The petition does not stop the mine project from moving forward at this time, Worley said. “We believe the BLM did its job correctly in issuing a record of decision for the Mt. Hope project,” Spencer said in December. “We will continue to work with federal, state and local regulatory agencies as we move forward with the construction phase of the Mt. Hope project.”
Student Muckers aim for gold University of Nevada, Reno team competes this month in Colorado By DYLAN WOOLF HARRIS Free Press Staff Writer
Courtesy of David Kerr
UNR Mackay Muckers Stephanie Shelley, right, and Sebastian Areitio practice the jackleg drilling event, preparing for the International Intercollegiate Mining Games to be held in Golden, Colo.
ELKO â€” With an acute focus in northern Nevada on mining, it goes to reason that students from a northern Nevada school might know a thing or two about the job. University of Nevada, Renoâ€™s Mackay Muckers, a mining team that has competed annually in the International Intercollegiate Mining Games, is proof of it. Last year, the games were held in Cornwall, England, hosted by the Camborne School of Mines, where the Muckers co-ed team placed fourth overall. Teams compete in seven events: track stand, in which a team builds and tears down a railroad section graded on quickness and efficiency; ore muck, a team fills then moves an ore cart, graded on time; gold pan, where competitors search for three lead BBs in a dirt pan; suede See MUCKERS, 37
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Muckers ... Continued from page 35
Mackay Muckers team caption Sebastian Areitio hammers a chisel for the hand steel event at a team practice. Courtesy David Kerr
saw, in which the team cuts through timber with bow saws; hand steel, which requires team members to drill into concrete with steel chisels and a hammer; jackleg, in which the team drills into concrete graded on depth reached in three minutes; and survey, which requires the team to compute the coordinates of an ending point using a theodolite. In individual events, the team took first place in mine survey, second place in single jack and third place in track stand. Captain Sebastian Areitio said the team jokes that it went to England in 2012 — the same year London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games — and took home a gold, silver and bronze. With the England games cast in the past, the Muckers have set their sights on the 2013 games and are aiming for the gold. The games are scheduled March 1417 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. “Right now, the whole team thinks we’re going to take first in the whole event,” Areitio said. “We’ve been focusing on our disadvantages.” The ore muck challenge, he said, his-
torically, has been a disadvantage for the Mackay Muckers. “Because it’s so labor intensive,” the team captain said. “We’re working at it so everyone knows their job in the event.” So far, hard work is paying off. The team has noticed incremental improvement in February, and it still had more than a month before the competition begins. “Every day we get faster and faster times. I’ve seen improvement,” Areitio said. This year’s group, made up of one men’s team and one women’s team, practices three to four hours on the weekend and another hour or so during the week. Recently, the teams amped up the regimen and scheduled two weekday practices as the competition gets closer. On the weekend, the group runs through all the events, but during the weekday practices, they focus on a single game trying to perfect it. Many students on the team, Areitio said, are planning careers in the industry after graduation. Members aren’t required to major in a mining-related field, though See MUCKERS, 45
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BLM seeks public comment on Arturo Mine EIS By JOHN RASCHE Free Press Staff Writer
ELKO — The old Dee Gold Mine may see new life, but under a new name — Arturo. The Bureau of Land Management, Tuscarora Field Office received public comment Feb. 6 for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement of the Arturo Mine Project, released Jan. 18. The project, located approximately 27 aerial miles northwest of Carlin on the northern end of the Carlin Trend in Elko County, is a joint-venture between Barrick Gold Exploration Inc. and Marigold Mining Company, a subsidiary of Goldcorp Inc. The proposed project would disturb a total of 2,774 acres — 2,703 acres are public lands administered by BLM and 71 acres are private land. Surface disturbance would include 269 acres of existing disturbance, 543 acres of reclaimed Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly mining disturbance, and 1,962 acres of new disturbance. Barrick’s Arturo mine project manager, Mark Laffoon points to a mapped environmental impact study area for the Sage The Arturo Mine would be an extension of the Dee Gold Grouse in February during a public comment open house at Elko Bureau of Land Management office. At right is AECOM proj- Mine, an open-pit mine that was shut down in 2000 during a period of low gold prices. ect manager for the draft environmental impact statement for the Barrick’s Arturo mine project, Eve Bingham.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Steve Brower, former Arturo mine project manager, left, and Laffoon, listen during a public comment open house in February at Elko Bureau of Land Management office. “You’ve already got a pit developed, so you already know what’s been there in the past, what kind of ore was there, what quality the ore was, and how it was processed,” Project Manager Mark Laffoon said. “You know the ore body a lot better.” The Arturo Project is expected to have a mine life of 10 to 15 years, Laffoon said. According to the EIS, the proposed project would employ 100 construction workers during the construction phase and employ an average of 200 workers during the operations and processing phase. “At its peak, the maximum operations employment effect would be approximately 659 workers, including indirect employment,” the EIS stated. The proposed project is situated within a mule deer migration corridor, but changes have been included in the plan so as to accommodate them. “Our ultimate plan is to leave (the area) better off than when we started,” Regional Permitting Specialist Jessica Spiegel said. Copies of the Draft EIS are available at the BLM Elko District Office and also online at the BLM Elko District website: www.blm.gov/rv5c. Comments should be submitted by March 4 and mailed to: Bureau of Land Management, Arturo Mine Project, Attention: John Daniel, 3900 Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801-4611; emailed to: BLM_NV_ELDOArturoEISComments@blm.gov; or faxed to 775-753-0255. Questions concerning this project should be addressed to John Daniel at the above address or by phone at 775-753-0277. Once public meeting review period has ended, the BLM will respond to the comments and prepare the final EIS. Dee Mine Timeline Exploration and mining activities have occurred in the project area for the past 30 years, according to the EIS. The Cordex Exploration Company conducted exploration activities at the site from 1981 to 1983. Dee Gold Mining Company obtained control of the mining claims in 1983 and began open-pit production. In 1998, Barrick entered into an agreement with Dee Gold and began exploration of the site. Dee Gold began underground mining of a deposit from a decline in the bottom of the open-pit in 1999. When the operations were shut down in 2000, reclamation and closure activities were initiated. Barrick and Glamis Marigold Mining Company, successor in interest to Dee Gold, entered into an agreement in 2005, forming the Barrick-Dee Mining Venture. In 2006, Barrick built the Storm Underground Mine from a second decline in the bottom of the Dee open-pit.
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Federal Royalties? I don’t think so, and more By JOHN DOBRA
I have been asked to address the issue of federal royalties on Nevada mineral production and the impact on Nevadans so I’ll give you a quick guide to the subject. But we’ll also add more timely comment on gold prices. First, with respect to federal royalties on Nevada mineral production, as long as Harry Reid is majority leader of the US Senate, fuggitaboutit. It ain’t happening. First, the Senator has always been a defender of mining. And second, if the Senate can’t pass a budget for three years, how can it pass a mineral royalty? Way too complicated for the world’s greatest deliberative body. But, suppose it could happen - just to amuse the editor who asked me to address the topic. The first thing that would have to be figured out is who owes a royalty. Existing claim owners or future claim owners? Or both? If existing claim owners are supposed to pay royalties under proposed legislation, there will be a mountain of lawsuits for “takings” under the fifth amendment of the Constitution. And nobody is paying any money to the federal government anytime soon. If existing claim owners are not supposed to pay royalties under proposed legislation, there will not be as many lawsuits but there also will not be much money raised from the royalty and there will not be as much exploration in the US. And there still will not be much, if any money paid to the federal government anytime soon. But let’s just suppose that there is a federal royalty. If an 8 percent gross royalty production (which was proposed in legislation that passed in the House of Representatives in the 1990’s) is imposed on gross income from all existing mining claims, Nevada producers would pay around $600 million to the federal government. If the federal royalty was on net proceeds, i.e., modeled on the Nevada Net Proceeds of Mineral Tax, it would be considerably less, probably in the range of $250 million. (Both
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of these figures are based on the 2010 calendar year and an 8 percent rate.) Under both scenarios a lot of capital will be taken out of the state’s mining industry. In addition, the state and local government tax base will also shrink by these amounts because royalties are deductible under Nevada tax laws. The royalties paid by the industry to private claim owners are taxed by the state and counties but Nevada cannot tax the federal government’s royalties. Consequently, between $10 million and $30 million in tax revenues would be transferred from Nevada governments to the federal government. Obviously, that is a lot of money to send to D.C. and it would hurt Nevadans. But, to go back to where we started, it isn’t going to happen anytime soon. There are a lot of details to be worked out, and you can be certain that there will be lawsuits. Why I have been right about gold prices I have heard complaints from some readers about my failure to predict higher gold prices. I hear the same commercials to buy gold that you do, and yes I understand that the Fed and other central banks around the world have been printing mountains of money. But here are a couple of things to add. First, by the time you start seeing ads on TV promoting gold (or other investments) ,it’s too late. Gold had a good run from 2002 to 2011. But the rule is that you buy on the rumor and sell on the news. During the 2002 to 2011 period the Federal Reserve created a financial bubble that burst in the 2008 financial meltdown. This was a favorable environment for gold prices. Gold was a hedge against financial instruments that crashed in the meltdown and then became a safe haven. But this is all ancient history and already “baked into the cake.” The second point to keep in mind is that even though central banks have printed mountains of money and continue to do so, we have not seen significant inflation
which would drive gold prices up. The key question is why has there been so little inflation? The answer is why I have been right about gold prices. The first mountain of money printed basically just cancelled out debt and added little or nothing to demand and stimulate prices. The next mountain of money has basically just fattened up corporate and bank balance sheets and has also done little or nothing to demand. That money is just sitting on the sidelines waiting for a better investment climate, which government policies are not creating. That is one reason the economy has not responded to all of the economic stimulus coming out of D.C. and the Fed. Gold has performed its traditional function as a store of value very well for the last decade. But it may have gotten a little ahead of its long term “golden constant” post financial meltdown. The “golden constant” refers to Roy Jastram’s research in the 1970’s that showed gold prices had remained constant in real terms since the early 1700’s. In simple terms, over that period an ounce of gold has been able to purchase dinner for two at a fine restaurant in London or New York or a high quality men’s suit. In the 1990’s gold prices clearly were under their long run average, and now they seem to be a little ahead. What gold really needs now is inflation but I just don’t see that happening in the short term in this weak economy and I don’t think this Congress or administration is going to do anything to change that. ——————— John L. Dobra, Ph.D. is the director of the Natural Resource Industry Institute and Associate Professor of Economics Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute.
Idaho college offers millwright course A spokeswoman for Newmont said the mining company already has good relations with Elko’s Great By ANDREW WEEKS Basin College and is looking forThe Times-News ward to its partnership with CSI. “We’ve got operating mines TWIN FALLS — Businesses and across northern Nevada, both open students interested in mining and and underground,” said Mary Korpi, industrial work will get a boost the company’s director of external once a new course kicks off at the relations. “One of the areas where College of Southern Idaho. we typically have job openings is in Beginning March 4, CSI will offer the skilled traits. When you partner a millwright course that will qualify with a technical institute to develop students to meet entry-level programs, it’s a mutual benefit.” employment needs at many area Elko, she said, can’t meet all of businesses, including Newmont the company’s job openings for Mining Corp. skilled workers, so the company “We’re trying to help local naturally wants to recruit from employers,” said David Wyett, other areas. Newmont currently chairman of the college’s Department employs around 3,700 people of Trade and Industry.“The mining across Nevada, Korpi said. company is the one that approached us, Students in the CSI program will but other businesses in our area have learn such things as blueprint said they’ve run into labor shortages reading, problem-solving, rigging, and have the same training for their vibration analysis, installation and employees. maintenance of mechanical equip“We’ll run a pilot to see how it ment, basic welding, hydraulic and goes. Hopefully, if everything goes pneumatic systems, mechanical well, it’ll become a permanent fix- drives, OSHA safety and CPR, ture.” industrial tools and equipment,
Newmont helps with tuition
electronics, repair and fabrication, shaft alignment, and preventive maintenance. CSI needs 14 students for the course. “So far we have about half,” Wyett said. The course, which is divided into three semesters, costs $1,000 per session. Newmont, which offers $26 per hour and benefits to its entry-level millwrights, has provided money to the CSI Foundation to help pay the tuition for some qualifying students, Wyett said. Program Details
The College of Southern Idaho’s new millwright course, which begins March 4, is divided into three semesters. Cost per semester is $1,000 (fees can be paid per session), plus an additional $300 for textbooks. Classes will meet from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each Monday through Thursday until Jan. 30, 2014. Information: CSI Trade and Industry office at 208-732-6301 or workforce.csi .edu.
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A Tale of Two Entities By JOHN RASCHE Free Press Staff Writer
ELKO — Driving westbound on Interstate 80, one might notice the large sign for P&H MinePro Services on the right. Although the sign still remains, the company’s name has changed. Joy Global Inc. is a worldwide leader in high productivity mining equipment and life cycle services. Previously, Joy Global ran its regional surface and underground services through two business units: P&H MinePro and Joy Mining Machinery. Both companies were officially rebranded as Joy Global in May, 2012. “A key point of the One Joy Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly Global change was focused on the Rod Bull, surface mining general manager, of the Nevada Region describes a specially designed service truck for Joy Global. The vehicle sports the new color customers’ and the company’s scheme and logos of the company.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Shop apprentice, Nick Cortez grinds an electric shovel component at Elko’s Joy Global west facility. best interest to combine the two business units into one; to make it easier to do business with us through standardized processes and fewer operational nuisances to manage,” said Brandon Hendrix, senior account manager of sales. “A large component of the strategy is to realign our business to seamlessly serve the global surface and the underground markets and be the leading global supplier of advanced equipment, systems and direct services for the global mining industry.” Joy Global currently has 28 shovels between Nevada and Utah, including 11 4100Series Shovels, 13 2800-Series Shovels, and four 2300-Series Shovels. Three of the 4100-Series Shovels are new alternating current machines (as opposed to previous direct current machines) and a fourth 4100XPC-AC shovel will be operating at Goldcorp Inc.’s Marigold Mine later this year. The company’s shovel clients include KGHM-Robinson, Round Mountain Gold Corp., Rio Tinto’s Kennecott mine, Barrick Gold Corp.’s Cortez, Goldstrike, Bald Mountain mines, and Newmont Mining Corp.’s Twin Creeks mine. “As the mining trucks get larger, there’s a greater interest in the larger shovels,” Hendrix said. “The corporation’s direction has become more intimate with our customer’s business. We’re in the business to help them, we want to be close partners. It’s our goal to be that first phone call.” Although the P&H MinePro sign has not been changed yet, many of the company’s trucks now sport the new Joy Global logo. “(The trucks) are one of our backbones for what we do in the field,” General Manager Rod Bull said. “These trucks were specially designed for Joy Global and what we do.” Some employees, formerly of P&H MinePro, were initially skeptical of the change, but quickly accepted the new image when they saw it. “A lot of the guys didn’t think they’d like the new look, but after we saw it on the trucks ... it has a much more clean, professional look to it.” In the near future, Joy Global is expecting another merge — but on the local level. The company has two facilities in Elko. The West Shop (along I-80) is the company’s facility for welding, field service, warehousing, and main offices. Rack strips, which are attached to a shovel’s dipper handle, are also manufactured at the facility. “By the end of the second quarter, we will be the global fabricator for replacement racking on P&H Shovels,” Bull said. The East Shop, located along East Idaho Street, is the company’s machine shop, used for shop welding and rebuilding mechanical parts. According to a 2012 May press release, Joy Global had more than 117 employees between the two facilities in Elko and one in Salt Lake City. “We will be combining the East and West facilities under one roof,” Hendrix said. See JOY GLOBAL, 45
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Joy Global ...
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many are in the school’s geology or mining engineer programs. “Our team is heavily populated with students that come from the northern Nevada mining region ... and come from a mining background,” Areitio said. The competition allows the team to experience a new school, meet like-minded students, and tour mines in the area. “It’s educational, too,” the captain said. According to the event website, the games started in 1978 in honor of 91 miners who died in the Sunshine Mine disaster six years prior. Competing teams are represented from throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Germany and Holland, according to the organization’s website. In 2010, Reno hosted the games where the women’s team placed third and the men’s team placed seventh out of 32. There is a buzz that next year’s games will be hosted at an Australian school, Areitio said, though at this point nothing is confirmed. The Mackay Muckers men’s and women’s teams are each made up of six members. The following members make up the men’s team: Sebastian Areitio, Elko; Tim Leedy, Reno; Jay Dewald, Elko; Paul Opdyke, Las Vegas; Kaleb Denham, Spring Creek; and Chase Kittish, North Valley. The following members make up the women’s team: Stephanie Shelley, Winnemucca; Danielle Molisee, Gardnerville; Neha Bhardwaj, India; Murya Dube, Las Vegas; Abijah Bauer, Grant Pass, Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly Ore.; and Virginia Ibarra, Reno. Rod Bull, Joy Global surface mining general manager of the Nevada Region, describes work performed at the west facility in Elko as he stands in front of a large electric shovel dipper.
“The location is unknown at this time, but (we are) targeted near Exit 298, (on the) west side of Elko.” The new facility’s model will be based off a newly constructed Joy Global Service Center in Virginia, Minn., but must be scaled and configured according to local requirements. The construction phase of the of the new facility is targeted to occur within six to 12 months after Joy Global has acquired the land. “The consolidation of these facilities will better position Joy Global to support growth in the Nevada Mining industry, as well as create an opportunity to better leverage the existing management and support teams,” Hendrix said. “The consolidation will add capacity in terms of warehouse space and expanded capabilities in welding, machining, and mechanical repair. “There’s a lot coming together for us in this region. We’re very much just a happy family here.”
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When there’s a need, there’s a will When there’s a will, there’s application How to make your training immediately more effective By THOMAS E. BOYCE, Ph.D. President and Senior Consultant Center for Behavioral Safety LLC
I recently developed a course for a large management organization entitled the “Psychology of Management: Why People Do What They Do.” The course provides basic information on human psychology to help leaders in an organization better understand how to influence, motivate, overcome resistance, deal with group influence, including peer pressure and the rumor mill, and be more likely to get the results they want. The course curriculum is essentially introductory psychology principles applied to a business setting. To date, we’ve had multiple runs of the course with great enrollment. The course reviews and reports of the benefits produced by the application of these principles have been outstanding. With this background, you should ask: why would a well-
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recognized management organization with over 100 years of history want to teach introductory psychology to successful business leaders? Also, why is enrollment in the course so high? The answer is simple: there is a need. The content of our course is not taught in any other course this management organization offers and is not taught in traditional business management programs or books.You could find the information in a course offered through a university psychology program, but that course would not provide the practical application that my nearly 20 years of experience helping organizations use these concepts have allowed me to build into my course. When you are a manager or supervisor,your job is dealing with people, processes, the work environment, and the interaction of these. And still, traditional management training does not provide insight into people and human behavior like psychology can. One could assume that the reason for this is a belief that participants in such courses already have this knowledge and do not need to be reminded of it. Thus, basic psychology gets dumped into a category of “should already know” and is not given another
thought. However, many business leaders have not ever taken a course in psychology. And, even if learned at some point in the past, the skills derived from this knowledge do not develop without application. So, not unlike the high school algebra you forgot soon after you passed your algebra class, most people have a vague recollection of the psychology principles, but no practical skills to apply them. Again, there is a need. I recently met with some colleagues at a major university mining program regarding their curriculum and desire to create a greater emphasis on mining safety. My research of what is currently available through mining degrees and certificate programs revealed that there are some holes in the education provided to current and prospective miners. While academic institutions typically teach technical aspects of mine design, operation, reclamation and the science or engineering behind the mining process, relatively little attention is paid to safety. Moreover, where safety is taught, you typically see it as a brief lesson within another course or technical courses around specific
issues such as fall protection, lock-out/tag-out, and mobile equipment operation. In general, it appears there is mostly an emphasis on compliance with regulations (MSHA-type training). And, while this information is important, it does not address the most fundamental and most difficult job of the mine manager, supervisor, or safety director — dealing with people. Thus, not unlike what we uncovered with the management organization referenced above, there is a need. And, I believe for the mining industry to achieve its vision of zero injuries, this need has to be addressed. In my previous article, I discussed your company’s DNA. And while we will find some common ground in the various mine operations, your DNA refers to the unique set of characteristics of your mine’s culture that will impact just about everything you do. For example, in implementing a Behavior-Based Safety process, your challenges will be different if you have to first overcome a failed attempt at something similar versus if this is your first attempt at such a process. And, the strategies used to implement the process would be different accordingly.This is why I stressed the benefits of DNA — duplicate with necessary adjustments versus R&D — rip-off and duplicate. The same case can be made for your educational and training programs.And,this is why you see miners’eyes glaze over as they sit through yet another annual refresher on the same topics taught by the same people using the same materials. They do not see the need. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your training to your mine site, you must first genuinely identify your training needs. Here is what I would do or what your consultant or HR manager/training coordinator should be doing: 1. Identify gaps in your educational training system along three dimensions by evaluating the relative frequency (and quality) of each. Ask, is your training properly balanced along the following dimensions? a. Compliance/regulation b. Technical training c. Human behavior/leadership training Remember, what MSHA asks you to do is the minimum. Providing the minimum may keep you in compliance, but it is not likely to get your mine site to zero injuries. 2. Make necessary adjustments in the balance of your training. a. Identify specific content to be trained this year and select appropriate vendors to conduct this training See BOYCE, 59
Engineering excellence from concept to closure Bring AMEC’s experience to your project in: mine planning, design and costing
project and construction management
scoping, pre feasibility and feasibility studies
resource/reserve audits and NI 43-101 reports
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metallurgical process development
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Reno: 775-331-2375 Denver: 303-433-0262 Elko : 775-778-3200
Helena: 406-442-0860 Phoenix: 480-253-4930 or 602-343-2400
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Jesse Burrough, left, and Mark Miller, Turquoise Ridge environmental superintendent talk while descending in the No. 2 shaft, which is the main shaft into the underground.
Turquoise Ridge going through design changes, improvements By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
GOLCONDA — Employees at Turquoise Ridge are focused on growing the mine’s reserves and improving efficiency underground. “While it’s a challenge, it’s exciting,” General Manager Nigel Bain said about the changes at the mine. The ore tonnage out of the mine has increased every year. Bain said the tonnage from 2012 to 2013 is expected to increase 26 percent. Turquoise Ridge will mine 700,000 tons a year by 2018, said Mern Vatcha, technical services superintendent. “There’s lots of ounces down there,” he said. “The higher the price goes, the lower the cost. Turquoise Ridge is a joint venture between Barrick Gold of North America and Newmont Mining Corp. Barrick owns 75 percent and Newmont owns 25 percent. Ore from Turquoise Ridge is processed at Newmont’s Twin Creeks Mine. Turquoise Ridge has 390 full-time employees and 80 percent of them live in Winnemucca. The mine also has about 200 contractors on site who help with operations and exploration. “We’ll be adding 30 people this year and will increase next year,” Bain said. “We are the employer of choice. I think we can be very competitive. We have a mine life where people can learn the industry and retire right here.” The mine life is expected to stretch to 2043. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Turquoise Ridge miners work on a tunnel that is being fortified with a steel frame, wire mesh and shotcrete.
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Turquoise Ridge ... Continued from page 48
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Luis Zamayoa, 38, operates a jackleg drill in Turquoise Ridge underground. Zamayoa has been mining since he was 19. He has been underground for 13 years and five of those have been at Turquoise Ridge.
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Fortifying the Underground Barrick is working to improve the underground mine. The ground in an entire stretch of tunnel is squeezing in, said John Laird, mine operations superintendent. “We’ve had to come in several times to stop the squeezing,” Laird said. To fortify the tunnel, a rebar-steel frame is constructed and a wire mesh is attached to the frame. Then shotcrete is sprayed on to help fortify the tunnel. The miners refer to the wire mesh as bed springs. The structure stretches 150 feet through the tunnel. Building this type of structure is not common, but may occur more at Turquoise Ridge, said Mern Vatcha, technical services superintendent. “In all likelihood, it is something we will have to do more often,” Vatcha said. “This same ramp will be open for 40 years. If it works well it will become the main way of rehabilitation. The ground can still squeeze. This will be the primary access of mining areas. When we do the primary development, this stays open for the life of the mine.” “Turquoise Ridge is a very complicated mine,” Bain said. “We have some of the most difficult ground conditions, but we’ve become experts in dealing with those conditions.” The conditions are difficult because the folding, faulting and sheering of the ground has torn up the base limestone. “Part of the reason we have such high grade ore is because of the poor ground conditions,” Vatcha said. “We have about 9 million ounces in the ground right now.” To combat poor ground conditions, the mine uses concrete for backfill. When traveling through the mine, employees and visitors can see the cement backfill in some of the tunnels. In areas where mining is completed, Turquoise Ridge employees use concrete to backfill the open areas that are no longer used. “This allows us to mine wider and taller,” Laird said. “It also makes the ground more stable.” Vatcha said the concrete is stronger than the surrounding ground. He said most of
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John Laird looks toward the area underground where the new concrete batch plant will be built. It will be 2,300 to 2,500 feet from the surface. The chamber for the plant is about 50 feet in height. the employees would rather work under the backfill than the regular ground. “They’re probably the best of the best at backfill down there,” Bain said. “We fight for every ton we get.” To improve efficiency at the mine, a concrete batch plant will be built underground so it is closer to the main area of mining, Laird said. The plant will be 2,300 to 2,500 feet beneath the surface. Once it is built, concrete will not have to be trucked down from the surface to supply the backfill. “The batch plant is a $40 million project,” Vatcha said. “We plan for it to be completed by December of 2013.”
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The ceiling of this tunnel shows the concrete backfill in the Turquoise Ridge Mine. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Turquoise Ridge ... Continued from page 51 Handheld to Mechanized Initially when the tunnels were dug, they were 10 feet by 10 feet to reach the higher grade ore. These smaller tunnels meant miners had to work close to the face of the rock, using jackleg drills or other handheld equipment. Vatcha said they are trying to change over to all mechanized tools. “We’re trying to move away from the handheld machine,” Laird said. “We have purchased some mechanized equipment. The goal is to get rid of the handheld machines for health and safety reasons. It’s to move the employees away from the hazard.” The mine has purchased jumbo drills that are small enough to work the smaller topcut headings. By 2014, the entire mine will be mechanized, Bain said. The mechanized equipment will allow the mine to increase production, Vatcha said. Employees are working to redesign the mine and extend the drilling. “The heart of the mine is moving to a newer ore body,” Bain said. This movement will mean the mine must build a new shop for maintenance on the underground equipment. The current shop is at the 1,750 level. “In the long term, we will move the shop but we’re See TURQUOISE RIDGE, 54
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Turquoise Ridge Continued from page 52 going back and forth on where it will be,” Vatcha said. Shop Supervisor Darrell Archer said he and his crew work on anything that has tires. They maintain 105 pieces of equipment in the fleet. “We try to make the equipment miner proof,” he said. “Unfortunately, there’s no such thing.” Archer said they install the fire suppression systems on the equipment and also the communication systems. The mine uses two systems — Jigsaw and AeroScout. Jigsaw tracks where material is moved in the mine and AeroScout tracks the people, Laird said. Everyone in the mine has the tracking system attached to their belt. “Within a couple 100 feet, the dispatcher can tell where the machine is and where the person is standing,” he said. Vatcha said fiberoptics are running throughout the mine. This allows people on the surface to have access and monitor the mine’s systems through a computer. “If you want to start or stop a fan from the Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Leo Sanchez drives a Caterpillar tractor. He has been a miner for 14 years and in the underground for about eight.
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Barrick miners gather for a photo. Front row, from left, Miguel Contrera and Silvestre Rodriguez. Back row from left are Robert Rodriguez, Joe Leal, Leo Sanchez and James Matthews. surface, you can,” he said. “You can also turn the sprinklers on and off from the surface for dust control.” Safety First Turquoise Ridge had a “great” safety rating in 2012, Bain said. The mine went the entire year without a lost-time accident. The mine won first place for safety in the underground mine category from the Nevada Mining Association’s Safety Awards. In 2011, the mine had nine MSHA reportable incidents. “In 2012, we had 12 of those, but they were very low severity — cut fingers and sprains,” Bain said. “Turquoise Ridge went a full year without a lost-time accident.” The mine also earned the 2012 Barrick site safety merit award.
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From underground to octagon Barrick miner spends time with family, mixed-martial arts training By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
Jimmy Center working on underground utilities in Barrick’s Cortez Mine.
ELKO — Jimmy Center has many titles: son, brother, football player, soldier, miner and mixed-martial arts champion. His profession is an underground miner at Barrick Gold Corp.’s Cortez Mine, but his passion is spending time with family and mixed-martial arts. Center, 32, is able to do both with his brother, Nick Pacheco. Center has been training in mixedmartial arts for almost six years. He has been working at Cortez for just under three years; before that he worked at Blach Distributing. “I did four years in the Army and got tired of being away from home for so long,” Center said. “That’s where I started getting familiar with close-quarter combat. In the Army you have to learn to defend your life.” He said the main difference between fighting in the ring and fighting in life is that in the ring the referee keeps your
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opponent from killing you. Center holds two belts, the World Amateur Gladiator Challenge Middleweight belt and the Light-heavy Weight. The middle-weight is 185 pounds and the light-heavy weight is 205 pounds. “It’s a worldwide league,” Center said. “I just beat a guy who was No. 1 in Japan.” While he isn’t training to compete yet, he still practices techniques with Pacheco. “I’m just glad I get to work with my little brother now,” Center said. “I used to beat him up and now he beats me up. ... We couldn’t compete when we were little because we would just fight.” Center and Pacheco both said family became more important to them after their mother, Colleen Pacheco, died in October. “When mom passed it became more apparent we need to spend as much time together as possible,” Pacheco said. “We got to see her the weekend before she died of a stroke.” “We started this before she passed so she saw how close we got as brothers,” Center
said. Center said his mother was supportive but hated the sport. She didn’t want him injured. Competing in the Ring Center and Pacheco described mixedmartial arts competitions as “physical chess.” “You’re always fighting for a good position,” Center said. “You always have to think ahead.” “You’re looking for the other person to make a mistake,” Pacheco added. When the brothers practice, they work on the different positions opponents will end up in during a fight. All fights start standing, but they end on the ground. Center said a lot of people who don’t understand mixed-martial arts will boo when the fighters end up on the ground, but he said skilled fighters will always take the See CENTER, 59
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Jimmy Center, left, practices a mixed-martial arts bout with his brother, Nick Pacheco at Goldâ€™s Gym in Elko.
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Center ... Continued from page 56 bout to the ground. “I would rather see two skilled fighters on the ground than two idiots duking it out,” he said. Center said the main fighting styles he uses are jiu-jitsu, muay tai and wrestling. Fights are ended by knockout, submission or points. “You receive points for the different moves you do, from punches to escapes,” Center said. Amateur fights are three 3-minute rounds and the title fight is three 5-minute rounds. The pros have three 5-minute rounds and the title fight is five 5-minute rounds. Center said he is trying to learn as much as he can with fighting. “Right now I don’t feel like a champion because I can’t focus all my time on training,” he said.
Football Season In January,he was focused on the semi-pro football team he is on — the Elko Warriors. Before he drops weight to compete in the ring, Center has bulked up for his return to his high school sport. “We’re going to kill it this year,” he said. “In high school I was 135 pounds and a wide receiver for Spring Creek.” He plays as the Warriors’ 220-pound tailback. Future Plans Center said his job at Cortez should allow him to pursue his dream of training others in mixed-martial arts. “Barrick is awesome, if you want to save money,” he said. “I want to pursue it (mixed-martial arts) and give it to someone else. Someday maybe have a place to train others. However, if UFC came knocking on my door and offered me $100,000 to fight I wouldn’t turn it down.”
Boyce ... Continued from page 47 b. Provide opportunities to apply any classroom-type training in the field and provide feedback c. Evaluate the quality of that training, including benefits to whatever aspect of your mine operation you are trying to impact d. Use behavioral measures where possible to support traditional KPIs so you know how well the knowledge is being applied in an ongoing fashion 3. Revisit this process each year (and throughout the year as needs arise) a. Talk with your employees about what needs they are seeing b. Consider involving an objective third party to facilitate this conversation I am proud of the courses I’ve developed and taught over the years. Each has been successful because it filled a need, whether it be an academic course, a conference workshop or talk, or on-site training at a mine site just like yours. It seems that filling needs has been good for my career. In fact, when I first interviewed for my position at UNR in the 1990s, I was told I got the job over some more experienced and potentially more qualified (at the time) professors because I asked a question of the students that the other candidates did not. Specifically, in response to their question: “what course would you want to teach here at UNR?” I asked,“what courses would you like to be taught?” With this question, I demonstrated my interest in filling a need. How I filled that need would be left up to
my training and knowledge of what content a course on that topic should include. You could accomplish the same by asking this question of your employees and subsequently following-through with the appropriate training. When given the opportunity, your employees will tell you very accurately what will benefit them and your mining operation. From there, it is up to a qualified instructor to determine the specific content of this course and the best method for delivering this content. You get the best of both worlds. So, my call to you in this issue is to both self-reflect and talk with your miners to determine what needs your training program has. This dialogue will make your training more relevant and effective. As a result, your employees will be more engaged in the training and be more likely to apply the knowledge learned because they’ve already bought in to it. And, facilitating this “will” through your training program is just good business. ——— Dr. Thomas E. Boyce is a behavioral strategist and president and senior consultant with the Center for Behavioral Safety LLC. The Center is a NevadaBased Safety and Leadership consulting firm that turns managers into leaders and helps companies create an injuryfree workplace. Learn more at www.cbsafety.com or contact Dr. Boyce directly at email@example.com.
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Jerritt Canyon completes environmental projects before expansion By JOHN RASCHE Free Press Staff Writer
ELKO — Before Veris Gold Corp. began its expansion of the Starvation Canyon at the Jerritt Canyon mine, the corporation decided it was important to address environmental concerns first. “We had hoped to start development of Starvation Canyon earlier in the year, but we had put our money into finishing our environmental projects instead,” CoCEO and COO Randy Reichert said. “From a company standpoint, we still put environmental projects ahead of developing a mine that would make us that more profitable.” One of these environmental projects was the completion of the new Tailings Storage Facility, a double-lined “state-of-the-art” facility that stores left-over material from the gold leaching process. The TSF2 cost the company somewhere between $37 and $38 million, Reichert said. “Historically, we’ve had an unlined storage facility that was used in the days before lined facilities were the norm and now we’re moving away from that,” he said. The other large environmental project consisted of See JERRITT, 62 Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Mill operators Ramero Salorar, left, and Mark Werlinger separate rocks in the primary crusher at Jerritt Canyon Mine.
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This view shows the scrubber system, including the dryer and bag house, at Jerritt Canyon Mine. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Jerritt ... Continued from page 61 fixing a”legacy issue” of waste dumps that followed designs dictated by the U.S. Forest Service at the time. “We have been resloping waste dumps left over from mining (operations) in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” Reichert said. The waste dumps were built with concave tops, he said. The idea was that snow melt would go through the dumps instead of passing over the top of them, ensuring that sediment would not be carried into nearby streams. “What really happens is that it (concave top) concentrates the flow through the waste dumps that have broken material in a high concentration of total dissolved solutions that comes out in the water,” Reichert said. See JERRITT, 64
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Assistant mill superintendent Doug Morse describes the scrubber system at Jerritt Canyon Mine.
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Jerritt ... Continued from page 62 By resloping the waste dumps, “we’re effectively diverting the water around ... and snowmelt immediately drains off it and doesn’t go through the dumps.” The resloping project cost between $5 to $7 million, Reichert said. Now that those projects are complete, Veris Gold Corp. has refocused its efforts on the Starvation Canyon underground mine. According to a Feb. 14 press release, more than 1,300 feet of drifting was completed for the advancement of Starvation Canyon. More than 1,500 tons of ore has already been brought to the surface and stockpiled for sampling and analysis. The project is expected to contribute more than 33,000 ounces of gold to the 2013 production. Development of a vent raise and a secondary escapeway was scheduled to commence in February with completion targeted for mid-March, according to a previous statement. “This will allow for production to start as planned in March 2013 with a full ramp of 600 tons per day in the second quarter of 2013,” the release stated. Although the company’s fourth quarter financial results will not be released until March 15, Veris Gold Corp. reported recovering 35,042 ounces of gold and shipping 31,754 ounces of gold from processing of underground and stockpile ore at Jerritt Canyon in the fourth quarter of 2012. “We’re expecting to produce about 175,000 to
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185,000 ounces in 2013,” Reichert said. “That bump will really come from the addition of the Starvation Canyon and then later in the year we’ll bring on a fourth mining portal called Saval 4.” Although this winter’s heavy snowfall limited the amount of production from Jerritt Canyon’s SSX-Steer mine, new snow clearing equipment was purchased in the first quarter of 2013. “The operation overall is now running,” Reichert said. “We’re profitable. We’re going to continue to be more and more so. Bringing in our Starvation Canyon will really give us the next leg up in profitability. That’s why it’s key for us to get that going.” Up and At ‘Em Jerritt Canyon’s new projects and increased production numbers are welcome signs to many of the operation’s long-term employees, who saw the mine shutdown in 2008 only to rise from the ashes as a better, safer facility. The shutdown occurred when Yukon-Nevada Gold Corp., the mine’s owner at the time, faced financial problems and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection requested new mercury controls on the roaster and other environmental work. Five years later, Jerritt Canyon is owned by Veris Gold Corp. — formerly Queenstake Resources U.S.A., Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Veris Gold Corp. — and is operating with safer mercury levels (producing less than 10 pounds of mercury per year) and the envi-
ronmental projects are complete. “We’ve made quite a few improvements,” said Assistant Mill Superintendent Doug Morse, an employee of Jerritt Canyon for 16 years. “It’s hard to explain to people, because they didn’t see it hit rock bottom. I did. But now it’s all getting better. It’s better than what it was.” The operation now employs close to 400 people, including contractors, Reichert said. Less than two years ago that number was closer to 200. While the mine continues to grow, Morse still feels at home within the relatively small mining operation. “I really like Jerritt Canyon,” he said, “it’s small enough where you know everyone. It’s just like a family — just the right size as far as I’m concerned.” Jerritt Canyon also completed a new ore dryer, including the installation of a bag house and scrubber system, in 2012. “We set cutting-edge precedents on the mercury emissions,” Reichert said. “We put mercury controls on the dryer — nobody in the area even has controls in their dryer, but we do. Our mercury scrubbing (system) is state-of-the-art by far.” But the operation’s improvements don’t stop there, he said. “Like we did on the air-emissions side, we are looking at state-of-the-art solutions for water treatment and hope to have some testing in place this year.”
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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Sutter Gold Mining Company mill superintendent Paul Skinner pours the first thin stream of glowing molten gold into a mold, forming a shiny one-inch pyramid, near Sutter Creek, Calif. The company announced in December that it poured its first gold as it prepared to begin the first large scale Sierra Nevada underground gold mining operation in a half century.
Molten gold signals revival in California Mother Lode DON THOMPSON Associated Press
SUTTER CREEK, Calif. â€” The gold miners who made California famous were the rugged loners trying to shake nuggets loose from streams or hillsides. The ones who made the state rich were those who worked for big mining companies that blasted gold from an underground world of dust and darkness. The last of the stateâ€™s great mines closed because mining gold proved unprofitable after World War II. But with the price of the metal near historic highs, hovering around $1,700 an ounce, the California Mother Lodeâ€™s first large-scale hard rock gold mining operation in a half-century is coming back to life. Miners are digging again where their forebears once unearthed riches from eight
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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Above: Miner Keith Emerald uses a pneumatic drill to drill holes that will be packed with explosives to blast into the sold rock wall at the Sutter Gold Mining Co’s mines. At left: Matt Collins, chief operating officer of the Sutter Gold Mining Co., left, watches as Allen Smith, Brain Herfel, Ted Chapman and Wayne Murphy calibrate the water flow of a gravity table at the company’s newly constructed mill near Sutter Creek, Calif. The gravity table uses technology similar to those used by gold rush-era miners who used pans to separate gold from surrounding materials. historic mines that honeycomb Sutter Gold Mining Co.’s holdings about 50 miles southeast of Sacramento. Last week, mill superintendent Paul Skinner poured the first thin stream of glowing molten gold into a mold. “Nothing quite like it,” murmured Skinner, who has been mining for 65 years. It was just four ounces, culled from more than eight tons of ore, but it signaled the end of $20 million worth of construction and the pending start of production. The company announced the ceremonial first pour before financial markets opened Monday, marking the mine’s official reincarnation. By spring, the company’s 110 employees expect to be removing 150 tons of ore a day from a site immediately north of the old Lincoln Mine, enough to produce nearly 2,000 ounces of gold each month. The company projects resources of more than 682,000 ounces of gold worth more than $1 billion at today’s prices. Company officials say they are confident there is far more in their historically rich section of the 120-mile-long Mother Lode region of the Sierra Nevada foothills. Reopening the mine has been anything but a gold rush, however. It took three decades for the mine’s operators to obtain more than 40 environmental permits. By contrast, the old Wild West miners wreaked such devastation that they prompted some of the nation’s first conservation efforts nearly 130 years ago. “We’ve gone from no regulation to probably the other extreme,” said Bob Hutmacher, the company’s chief financial officer. In recent decades, most of California’s gold has come from the state’s desert regions. However, high gold prices recently spurred what authorities say was a rogue surface gold mine in El Dorado County, east of Sacramento. The owners now face criminal charges.
Farther north, several mines have started the process to reopen. Most of these kinds of hard rock mines have recently been known more as tourist destinations, including the Empire Mine, which was once the state’s largest hard rock mine. It became a state historic site after it closed in 1956. Sutter Gold’s mine also hosted underground tours featuring gold mining history until about a year ago. A halfmillion people took the tours before they were halted for insurance reasons as the company scrambled to begin production. Miners have now burrowed more than a half-mile underground and are digging another half-mile network of tunnels to reach the milky white quartz deposits that contain the gold. Six-hundred vertical feet underground, Keith Emerald was soaking wet in a T-shirt, rubber boots and bib overalls in the damp, chilly mine. The only light came from his battery-operated hard hat headlamp as he leaned into a deafening 135-pound jackleg pneumatic drill, driving an 8 1/2-foot-long bit repeatedly into a wall of solid rock. The more than 30 holes he drilled were packed with explosives to reduce a head-high archway to rubble. “Fire in the hole,” came a disembodied voice over the mine’s radio system hours later. The miners are using tools like the jackleg drill that have changed little in a century because they are searching for relatively narrow bands of quartz, averaging 2.4 feet wide. That makes it too costly to use modern mechanized equipment that would churn out tons of worthless rock. “This harkens back to the 19th century where you follow the gold veins,” said chief operating officer Matt Collins. “We’re throwbacks.” Their predecessors pried 3.5 million ounces of gold from the ground underlying the company’s holdings before the
last mine, the Eureka, closed in 1958. The company has mining rights under about 4.5 miles of the Mother Lode between the quaint Gold Rush communities of Sutter Creek, population 2,500, and Amador City, with 200 residents. The mining area roughly parallels Highway 49, named after the miners who rushed to California from around the globe after gold was discovered in 1849. Sutter Creek is the namesake of John Sutter of gold discovery fame. The nearby mines once made Hetty Green the nation’s richest woman and propelled the success of railroad baron Leland Stanford, who went on to become governor and found Stanford University. Now the towns boast more about their proximity to foothill wineries and the restaurants, boutiques and antique stores that line their historic main streets. “(Highway) 49 is known as the Gold Rush road. If there’s gold to be found, I think it should be mined,” said Jan Hicks, who lives in nearby Jackson but clerks in an 1869 Amador City building that once housed a general store catering to miners. “It’s still an allure, the mining history,” Hicks said as she unpacked tourist knickknacks in what is now a home and garden shop. “We’re very fortunate. We have gold and grapes and antiques. What isn’t there to love?” Donald “Pat” Crosby, 85, moved to Sutter Creek in 1959, just in time to watch the gold, sand, clay and logging industries peter out. The former city councilman remembers laughing at the Lincoln Mine owner who first proposed reopening the mine two decades ago. “You’re going to make more off of tourism than you ever would from gold,” Crosby recalls telling the owner. “Now, gold is taking the first step coming back. Thank God for that — I never thought it would.”
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Pershing Gold increases estimate at Relief Canyon ELKO — Pershing Gold Corp. estimated a nearly fivefold increase in gold-bearing material at Relief Canyon. The company announced in January that it completed an in-house calculation of mineralized material in the company’s model for the Pershing County mine. It estimated 32,541,000 tons of gold mineralized material at an average grade of 0.017 ounces per ton gold. The company's in-house technical staff calculated the estimate under SEC Guide 7, and the in-house estimate does not include identified material that is currently in the inferred category. When Pershing Gold acquired the Relief Canyon Mine in August 2011, based on the 2010 technical report that Mine Development Associates prepared for the previous owner, Relief Canyon had a resource equivalent to mineralized material of 6,533,000 tons at an average grade of 0.017 ounce per ton of gold. Pershing Gold is also pleased to announce that Roscoe Postle Associates USA completed an estimate of the inpit mineral resource using pit optimizing software at Relief Canyon that shows a measured and indicated inpit resource of 463,000 ounces of gold and an inferred in-pit resource of 101,000 ounces of gold. Pershing Gold anticipates that the exploration program planned for 2013 will further expand the estimate of mineralized material and the in-pit resource estimates as the deposit remains open in all directions. “In just a little more than a year, we have reached an important milestone,” Pershing Gold President, CEO,
and Executive Chairman Stephen D. Alfers said about the mine’s fast-track expansion of resource. “We have substantially expanded the mineralized material at the Relief Canyon gold deposit,” he said. “Additionally, in that same time frame, we have RPA's in-pit resource estimate that includes resources upgraded to the measured category and a significant increase in the indicated category. With this upgraded and expanded resource we have increased our confidence in the size and quality of the Relief Canyon deposit. This is noteworthy progress on our path to resume mining.” Pershing Gold has drilled a total of 127 holes — approximately 61,100 feet — since initiating its work at the mine in the fall of 2011. The SEC Guide 7 mineralized material estimate by Pershing Gold is based on data from these holes plus the 588 holes that previous owners of the mine drilled. The Company's mineralized material estimate uses a cutoff grade of 0.0046 opt gold, and is based on 67 plan views spaced 20 feet apart. Historic production at the Relief Canyon Mine included recoveries of silver at a ratio of one part gold to three parts silver. Silver is not included in the current SEC Guide 7 mineralized material or 43-101 resource estimates because the database for most of the historic holes does not include silver assays. Silver assays are planned for holes drilled in the future so this information can be added to the silver assay data from the holes Pershing Gold has drilled to date. Any identified silver
resources will be included in future mineralized material and resource estimates. “These outstanding results underscore Pershing Gold's unique opportunity,” Alfers said. “We have a permitted and operational heap leach facility designed specifically to process the deposit at Relief Canyon. Our continued progress in expanding and upgrading the deposit keeps us moving forward on our critical path to resume mining at Relief Canyon. I am very pleased with the exceptional progress we have made.” Pershing Gold's plans for 2013 will focus on further expanding the Relief Canyon deposit and advancing the project toward production. The company plans to modify its existing exploration permit to authorize drilling outside the currently defined in-situ resource boundary. The lands surrounding this boundary have not yet been tested sufficiently to determine whether they can be included in future resource estimates and economic evaluations. Additionally, Pershing Gold plans to amend the permit for the Relief Canyon Mine to authorize renewed mining activities. These projects will require additional external funding. Pershing Gold Corporation is a new gold exploration and development company focusing on acquiring, exploring, and developing gold deposits in Pershing County and elsewhere in Nevada. The Relief Canyon Mine property in Pershing County is owned by Gold Acquisition Corp., the company's wholly owned subsidiary.
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Matt Unrau/Elko Daily Free Press
Branch Manager Denny Bell, right, and Ted Pilz, lead technician of Liebherr Mining Equipment Co. talk in the shop of Liebherr outside of Elko.
Liebherr builds new trucks, plans to sell equipment By JOHN RASCHE Free Press Staff Writer
ELKO — Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co. has some big ideas: 400ton ideas, actually. Among many other products, the international company produces gigantic, electric trucks for mining operations. The Liebherr branch in Elko services 24 T282B-model trucks, each capable of carrying 400 tons of material, at Barrick Gold Corp.’s Cortez gold mine. The other two branches in Liebherr’s Western Operations (in Gillette, Wyo. and Kearny, Ariz.) serve three of four other mines in Wyoming and one other in Arizona. But Cortez keeps the 30-person operation busy, Branch Manager Denny Bell said. In addition to the electric trucks already in operation, a new 400-ton model, the T284, was recently completed. “This is the first one of its type in the whole world,” Bell said. “The T284 is a newand-improved 400-ton truck with newer electronics and a Liebherr-designed-andbuilt drive system. We continually try to improve different components of the trucks.” The T284 was on display in last year’s MINExpo International in Las Vegas, Bell said. Liebherr Western Operations is also working on a 240-ton truck called the T264, which will be assembled by the branches in Arizona and Wyoming. “There’s a limited market for companies that have big enough operations to use 400-ton trucks, so we will also have 240-ton trucks,” Bell said. “If those work out well ... it gives us a really good market to try and expand our product. There aren’t a lot of people who need a 400-ton truck.”
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Matt Unrau/Elko Daily Free Press
Rebuild Technician Trevor Pilz works in the shop of Liebherr Mining Equipment Co. The Elko branch is the Western Distribution Center for Western Operations and receives all parts before distributing them to Arizona and Wyoming. The Elko facility also rebuilds gear sets, front wheel groups, front and rear ride struts, brake calipers and smaller parts. In addition to the trucks, the Elko branch also has plans to sell equipment this year. “We’re going to start selling construction equipment in this area, which will give us another market,” Bell said. “That’s exciting for us.” He said Liebherr will sell equipment, such as dozers, rubber-tired front-end loaders, and backhoes, that can be purchased by construction companies and mine sites.
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Groups see education as key to increasing number of women in mining By CALEY COOK Free Press Staff Writer
ELKO — Arloa Woolford remembers walking around what is now Turquoise Ridge with her grandfather in the 1940s, looking for uranium with a Geiger counter. Her family was born and raised in places like Tuscarora and Paradise Valley and Midas, where she prospected alongside her grandparents and parents as a young girl before World War II hit. Woolford’s childhood at Midas led to a career at a small mine outside Winnemucca. She is now president of the Women in Mining Education Foundation. “I felt comfortable in that environment because I grew up there,” Woolford said. “That’s our goal, to help girls learn about what mining really looks like, to help them feel comfortable.” See WOMEN, 74 Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Barrick Gold of North America Communications Specialist Leslie Maple, left, is given personal protection equipment by Sherri Canter, PPE technician for Turquoise Ridge Joint Venture.
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A side view of one Women in Mining educational activity that teaches kids how to tunnel into a drift and reinforce the heading with “shotcrete” (cream cheese) and “roof bolts” (pretzels).
Women ... Continued from page 72 Woolford, now retired, got involved with Women in Mining in the 1980s when the group started a chapter in Winnemucca. The national mining advocacy and education group came at a time of great flux in mining, when gender roles were changing and more women were moving into positions previously held by men. “It was something I was drawn to,” Woolford said. “I’ve seen more women at a lot of area mines that are in non-traditional roles now, but that’s not always how it was.” The group now has one main Nevada chapter, but the approximately 35 members from Elko to Reno to Lovelock to Battle Mountain are strong advocates for miningfocused classroom education. “There have always been women geologists and engineers and things like that, but to see them as truck drivers, equipment operators, mechanics, electricians? To me that shows that they are making strides in that area. This is not just here in Nevada. I see this throughout a lot of the industry.” Measuring gender equality in Nevada mining is extremely difficult. In fact, there are no updated statistics that show the percentage of women employed in mining, either in Nevada or nationwide. Numbers from Barrick’s Nevada operations show that women are outnumbered seven to one in their workforce, according to Barrick communication specialist Leslie Maple. “It’s very difficult to get any real overall numbers,” Woolford said. “It used to be the Bureau of Mines each year had numbers and the Department of Labor doesn’t do it now. Other countries advertise those numbers, but it’s been difficult here. Some state organizations have a good idea, but a lot of the companies are afraid to put it out because maybe they fear accusations of discrimination.” One of the big sticking points for mining opportunities for women is that while general employment numbers for women in the industry are equalizing, women are not moving into leadership positions nearly as fast. “I just don’t see many female leaders in mining organizations, at least locally, in Nevada,” Woolford said. “I do know supervisors at some of the mines are female but I really don’t see a lot of upper management women. It’s too bad because they’re losing
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out on some good quality material in leaders.” It’s certainly not a simple problem to solve, said University of Nevada Reno professor Lynda Wiest. Wiest studies gender roles in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, and she says that in the course of her research she comes across solutions that may equalize gender numbers in some of those arenas. “It’s a complex phenomenon,” Wiest said. “It’s hard to get women to the table in STEM disciplines alone, so moving women into leadership positions there is even more difficult.” Wiest pointed to one study that said women who have instructors and mentors who specifically suggest and recommend that they seek careers in the STEM disciplines are more likely to pursue it. “These small techniques sound so simplistic, but I think it’s one of many strategies that we’re developing that are effective in helping women and girls recognize their potential in these areas,” Wiest said. See WOMEN, 79 Submitted
During a recent Women in Mining national meeting in Reno, the WIM Education Foundation demonstrated mining-related learning activities for members and teachers. This activity used a bread loaf (the drift) to show kids how cream cheese (shotcrete) and pretzels (roof bolts) can reinforce a tunnel and keep miners safe underground. The organization believes that increasing educational activities for young girls (and boys) will increase their likelihood of moving into miningrelated jobs.
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Caley Cook/Free Press
Above: Amanda Norfleet takes samples from an underground heading. At left: Norfleet works underground at Barrick every day, checking headings and taking samples.
ROCKHOUND Barrick geologist finds confidence, purpose in being outnumbered By CALEY COOK Free Press Staff Writer
ELKO — In the two hours Amanda Norfleet has been testing headings at Barrick’s Rodeo underground, she’s run into dozens of people. None of them have been women. “It can be isolating in a way,” Norfleet said, “but I don’t mind. I think I like it more down here, actually.” In the sooty maze of tunnels at Barrick Goldstrike, Norfleet, who is a senior production geologist there, is happy and capable. She makes her way across piles of rocks in dark caves, measuring the progress of drilling teams from the night before. When she finds an interesting area, she cracks open samples of ore with a pick ax to take above. Beneath her hard hat — adorned with a sticker that says “rockhound” — her smile is outlined by dirt. “I love my job,” she said, jotting down notes on a clip-
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board, “because I get to make million-dollar decisions every day. ” Women at Barrick’s Nevada operations are outnumbered seven to one in their workforce, a number that has equalized a bit in the last decade, but never came close to even. In the halls of the Meikle Administration Building where she spends most of her time, Norfleet says she feels comfortable. “It feels like a family to me here,” Norfleet said. “I think I’m good at what I do and I present myself in a way that commands respect, so I get taken seriously. Not every woman can be successful here though.” In the industries dominating the workforce in northeastern Nevada — specifically mining and ranching — women make up far less than half of that personnel. And even fewer of those women are in leadership or executive positions. Some state and federal programs are making strides in introducing young women and girls to the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines necessary to succeed in some of these areas, but the progress has been slow. Programs like University of Nevada Reno’s Girls Math and Technology summer program support seventh- and eighthgrade girls from rural parts of Nevada in
In the Barrick underground, Amanda Norfleet can travel through the tunnels for hours without seeinng more than a few other people, and almost never another woman. Only 1 in 7 personnel at Goldstrike are women. Caley Cook/Free Press
See ROCKHOUND, 78
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Caley Cook/Free Press
Amanda Norfleet sees her job as a senior geologist at Barrick Goldstrike as a way to demonstrate her skill and independence.
Rockhound ... Continued from page 77 developing STEM skills. The camp’s published research suggests some improvements in interest among the girls in the STEM disciplines, but more notably, a rise in self-confidence. For some women, like Norfleet, that might make all the difference in their chosen careers. “I’m lucky because I had a college experience that challenged me and helped me succeed,” Norfleet said. “We have to make sure that process starts when girls are young so they have a chance at finding what they’re great at.” Growing up in Northern Iowa with parents who worked in industries far removed from geology, Amanda Norfleet had no urge to try it in college. She toyed with another major in the humanities before taking a break from school for a while. But when she knew she wanted to return to Western Kentucky University,
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she sat down with her mom and looked through a course catalog. “Geology looked like playing with rocks and dirt, and I enjoyed that, so I thought I’d give it a try,” Norfleet said. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, she worked as an environmental consultant responding to Hurricane Katrina. She spent most days in air boats and helicopters searching for hazardous waste. After that, she spent years as an exploration geologist for a contracting company, roaming the Nevada sagebrush on a four-wheeler and testing core samples. She brought her dog to work every day. “That’s what’s so cool about this job,” Norfleet said. “There are just so many amazing things you can do as a geologist. And yes it’s not a really social job where I’m surrounded by other women, but I get to play in the dirt all day and that is pretty awesome.” Of the 14 people working in geology at Goldstrike, four of them are women. Norfleet says she’s learned a lot from her coworkers, but also hopes the industry can attract more women in the future. “We’ve all got a job to do,” Norfleet said. “If you do it well, you’ll fit in here. It may not look anything like those mining shows on the Discovery Channel, but we have fun here.” Norfleet says that there is a sense of purpose and confidence that being a geologist has brought out in her. “This job brings out a side of my personality that I don't have at home,” Norfleet said. “I have to be decisive and yell at people sometimes and I have to be persistent about things. I would’ve never known that about myself if I had been afraid of doing something because I was going to be the only girl. That’s just not who I am.”
Women ... Continued from page 75 Wiest pointed to a former student as a demonstration of these techniques. She ran into the woman in the halls one day and asked what she was doing back at school. “This was a student who I had specifically suggested come back for a graduate degree,” Wiest said, “and she did. I think those small things add up and make a difference, and research is showing that.” Women in Mining has focused its efforts on education. The Women in Mining Education Foundation participates in elementary classroom presentations, speech and essay contests, and curriculum development for science, technology, engineering and math teachers nationwide. “One of the things we do in all our classes and workshops for K-12 is to bring up all the different mining careers and try to get more interest, not just from female students but from male students,” Woolford said. “We’re there to show kids what these jobs look like physically as well as generally in salary and education. These girls in the class can do these jobs. It creates a lot of give and take, and conversation, between girls and boys in class.” The WIM Education Foundation is working to present its materials in more science courses across the country and is involved in the National Science Teachers Association and other related regional conferences. “If we teach the teachers about the industry, they are better equipped to teach the students about it,” Woolford said. Other organizations, such as the Association for Women Geoscientists, have also taken note of the numbers and launched educational campaigns. AWG features profiles of female geoscientists on their website and funds scholarships, professional development programs and awards for women in an effort to equalize opportunity for women in the geosciences. Woolford said she sees an opportunity for women to help other women in simple ways, such as through networking. “I’d like to see more women in the mining industry now go speak not only to students in schools but to civic organizations,” Woolford said. “Why did you choose the career you’re in and what does your job entail? What are the responsibilities? Are you satisfied or is it just about wage? They need to promote themselves more within their own communities and then there will be a better understanding of the larger issues in the industry.”
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Above: The Gold Quarry Pit in January. The right side of the pit is where it will be expanded. Below: Haul trucks move material at Gold Quarry.
Gold Quarry to grow deeper By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
CARLIN — Newmont Mining Corp.’s mines are once again expanding on the Carlin Trend. Miners at Gold Quarry will soon be digging the pit wider and deeper, said Jason Hill, surface mine manager for Carlin. “We just started a new layback,” he said. “We’ll start at the top and bring the wall down and make the pit deeper.” The layback will make the bottom of the pit wider. A layback is made of several benches, where the mining takes place, Hill said. Miners start with a bench that is 40 feet high then go down to a 20-foot bench. “This layback is Phase 7,” said Tim Pike, chief mine engineer for Carlin Surface. “We will finish Phase 4 this year. Phase 7 will take five years.”
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While the expansion will produce ore, miners also dig up construction material from the Gold Quarry pit. A large portion of the material is used in the underground mines, Hill said. Gold Quarry was commissioned in 1982 and had a 10-year mine life. The pit has grown in size and longevity over the years. It is about a mile and a half wide and 1,700 feet deep, and the mine life is estimated to stretch to 2028. “We’ve taken 1.5 billion tons out of Gold Quarry,” Pike said. The layback contains 350 to 400 million tons of material. Gold Quarry is just one of the pits in the larger complex that is Carlin Surface. The surface mines are broken up into the North Area, South Area and Emigrant. There are four active pits in the North Area. “Having several pits is nice because it gives us lots of flexibility,” Hill said. “It makes it interesting for the employees as well. Many are assigned to areas, but they do move around a lot.”
Tim Pike, chief engineer for Carlin Surface, explains how the layback will be mined. Ross Andreson/ Mining Quarterly
Finding the Peanut Having several pits also allows Newmont to process more gold from the area since the company has more than See GOLD QUARRY, 85
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Above: A blast pattern is prepared near the bottom of the Gold Quarry pit. Below: The entrance to the Chukar Underground can be seen at the bottom of the Gold Quarry pit.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Jason Hill, mine manager for Carlin Surface, explains how the benches are planned for the layback at Gold Quarry.
Gold Quarry ... Continued from page 81 one process available. When mining Carlin Surface, the material is separated, Hill said. If the material is oxidized it is sent to the leach pad. The leach pad is the cheapest way to separate the gold from the rest of the dirt, but it only works on oxidized ore, Pike said. Hill compared taking gold out of the mined material to separating the peanut from the inside of a peanut M&M. “Think of the ore as the peanut,” Hill said. “The chocolate is the other material and the candy is the rust. We use cyanide after the ore is oxidized to get the gold.” “Gold is so stable because it doesn’t react with anything,” Pike said. “Cyanide is one of those few things that will dissolve the gold. It’s what makes gold so special.” “And what makes it so hard to get,” Hill added. However, if the material is not oxidized, then putting it on a heap leach pad will not work. “That’s why historic pits are so shallow,” Hill said. “The black ore wasn’t economical to get or they didn’t know how to get the gold out of the non-oxidized ore.” This refractory ore has to be sent through different processes to make it oxidize. “We’re speeding up Mother Nature,” Hill said. Sometimes the ore is sent through an autoclave or roaster, Pike said. The autoclave in Mill 5 is a giant pressure cooker that uses pressure, high temperatures and oxygen to oxidize the ore. The material is in liquid form when it goes through the autoclave. “We use thousands of tons of oxygen a day,” Pike said. The ore is ground to talcum powder consistency, then mixed with a solution and agitated. The oxygen from the agitation creates bubbles that cause the gold to float on the surface and the waste goes to the bottom. Processing the ore allows Newmont to concentrate the gold. Hypothetically, the ore goes into the process at 0.07 ounces per ton and the concentrated gold comes out as 0.70 ounces per ton, Hill said. The concentrate is then sent through a thickening process and pressed into a cake. Another way to oxidize the ore is to send it through Mill 6’s roaster, which uses high See GOLD QUARRY, 87
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A Hitachi 5500 shovel loads a 250-ton haul truck at Gold Quarry. Above, a dozer pushes the dirt toward the shovel. During the winter the rock tends to freeze and the dozer helps to break it up. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Robert Strauss, equipment operator in Carlin Surface dispatch, explains how the MineStar system works.
Gold Quarry ... Continued from page 85 temperatures and oxygen. This process is a dry grind and air is injected under the powdered material, Pike said. “Because we have both, we have the flexibility to get the highest recovery,” he said. Teamwork and Computers In the end the different processes work because everyone works together at Carlin Surface, Hill said. “It’s a huge team effort,” he said. “So there’s a huge amount of interaction.” Newmont’s Carlin Surface has 800 employees. This does not include the hundreds of employees in the underground and the numerous support people and contractors. Part of what makes the teamwork easier is MineStar, the computer system installed in the mining equipment. The shovels have a high-precision GPS system that tells the operator what type of ore is being dug. When a shovel operator is mining, the different ore bodies will appear on a computer screen. Different ore types will have different colors. “As he mines, the shape disappears from his screen,” Hill said. MineStar will tell the haul truck driver where to take the material after it is loaded. The system will also tell the driver where on the leach pad or site the material needs to be dumped. The primary haul trucks used at Carlin Surface are 250-ton Caterpillars. Emigrant uses 150-ton trucks. All the shovels are hydraulic and diesel powered. The site has three 40-cubic-yard 5500 shovels, one 3600 medium shovel and two small shovels. It also has five Caterpillar 994 wheel loaders. Hill said Gold Quarry doesn’t have the infrastructure to use electric or rope shovels. “We don’t move the hydraulic a lot, but they are more moveable,” he said.
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MSHA completes investigation of miner’s death By JOHN RASCHE Mining Quarterly Staff Writer
ELKO — The Mine Safety and Health Administration announced results from its investigation of last year’s fatality at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Exodus gold mine. Allen Campbell, 49, was killed on Aug. 31, 2012 after falling through a hole that had developed beneath bridged material in an open stope, according to the report. He “fell approximately 90 feet from the drift he was working into the muck pile on the level below,” according to the report. When Campbell could not be found, mucking Allen operations ceased and all trucks were told to stop dumping. Campbell’s body was found in a surface stockpile after being inadvertently transported with other material by a haul truck. He was unresponsive when found and was pronounced dead by Eureka County Sheriff Kenneth Jones. Campbell’s death was attributed to traumatic asphyxia. The MSHA report concluded that “The accident occurred due to management’s failure to ensure that the victim used fall
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protection when working near an open stope where there was a danger of falling.” MSHA had completed the last regular inspection at the Exodus mine 10 days before Campbell’s death on Aug. 21, 2012. On the day of Campbell’s death, MSHA issued an order to the mine and later issued a citation on November 14, 2012. Since his death, Newmont has made revisions to include specific instructions regarding the use of fall protection while working near stopes. The revisions include assigning a second person to be present when a miner is working near a stope. All of the stope crews were trained in the new procedures. “We have to learn and implement lessons when you have a tragic accident like that (Campbell’s death),” said Mary Korpi, director of external relations for Newmont. “Our goal is to ensure the safety of our employees and contractors. We want a zero-harm work environment where no one gets hurt.” Campbell had 23 years of mining experience and worked at the Exodus mine, located approximately 25 miles from Carlin, for about a year, according to the report. “We all keep our thoughts and prayers with Campbell’s family and their close friends,” Korpi said.
Alamos Gold on New York Stock Exchange TORONTO, Ontario — Alamos Gold Inc., a Canadian-based gold producer, announced that its common shares have been authorized for listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The common shares, under the ticker symbol “AGI,” began trade in February. “The listing of Alamos’ shares on the NYSE underscores our strong progress from a start-up company to a highly profitable gold producer that is currently one of the world’s lowest-cost gold miners,” said John A. McCluskey, Alamos president and CEO. The shares will also continue to be listed as “AGI” on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada. As of Feb. 5, Alamos had over 127 million common shares outstanding being traded on the TSX. “In 2012, less than a decade after the company’s establishment, we generated our billionth dollar of revenue and produced our millionth ounce of gold,” McCluskey said. “Over the next few years, we plan to more than double our production, while continuing our track record of generating strong returns for our shareholders.”
Barrick to pay EPA penalties Mine cited for reporting errors in toxic chemical releases By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO — Barrick Gold Corp. will pay $618,000 after three mines failed to correctly report toxic chemical releases, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA said Barrick Cortez Inc.’s Cortez Gold Mine near Crescent Valley, Barrick Gold US Inc.’s Ruby Hill Gold Mine near Eureka, and Homestake Mining Co.’s Bald Mountain Gold Mine near the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge all incorrectly reported under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. All three companies are subsidiaries of Barrick. “Cyanide, lead and mercury used at these mines have the potential to pose a health threat,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We insist on accurate reporting of chemical releases so that citizens have a clear idea of the risk from the facilities near their communities.” EPA inspectors said the facilities failed to submit timely, complete and correct Toxics Release Inventory reports in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 for toxic chemicals. These chemicals included “cyanide compounds used to extract gold from the ore mined at the facilities and lead and mercury compounds produced during the extraction process,” according to the EPA. Facilities that manufacture, process, or use toxic chemicals over certain quantities must file annual reports estimating the amounts released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management, according to the EPA. The agency compiles this information into a national TRI database and makes it available to the public. The EPA alleged the mines underestimated the amount of minerals that undergo changes when the ore is milled, said Lou Schack, director of communications for Barrick Gold of North America. This disagreement over the reporting led to a settlement between the companies and the EPA. The settlement requires the companies to pay $278,000 in fines and spend an additional $340,000 to conduct a supplemental environmental project at the Cortez mine to identify the metal compounds formed in its oxide mill process. The gold companies will also perform audits at the other U.S. Barrick facilities in Nevada and Montana, correct reporting violations, if any, and pay a $10,000 penalty per violation, not to exceed $250,000. Despite the fines, the EPA said “there is no evidence to suggest that the violations posed any immediate danger to workers at the facilities or local communities.” During the period of time in question, Barrick’s U.S. mines submitted more than 330 Toxics Release Inventory forms, Schack said. “Less than 40 were disputed by the EPA in this matter,” he said. “While Barrick has agreed to complete the SEP and audit in the interest of achieving settlement, we believe that the level of analysis in the SEP exceeds the applicable statutory requirements,” Schack said. “More specifically, 42 USC 11023(g)(2) provides that ‘the owner or operator of a facility may use readily available data collected pursuant to other provisions of law, or, where such data are not readily available, reasonable estimates of the amounts involved. Nothing in this section requires the monitoring or measurement of the quantities, concentration, or frequency of any metal released into the environment beyond that monitoring and measuring required under other provisions of law or regulation. Barrick has always complied with these requirements.”
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Paiutes welcome copper mining, recall devastation By RAY HAGAR Reno Gazette-Journal YERINGTON (AP) — You can’t drink the water on the Yerington Paiute reservation because it could kill you. The ground water was poisoned by the old Anaconda copper mine, which stopped production in 1978 but still is designated as a federal Superfund site, according to the EPA. Federal law requires that the reservation’s drinking water must be bottled and provided by British Petroleum, the responsible party for the Anaconda ecological disaster. But if Congress passes a bill that will allow for a 19-square-mile federal land transfer to the city of Yerington, copper mining would return to Lyon County and create hundreds of jobs. The Native Americans desperately need those jobs — unemployment on the reservation is 65 percent — but they are wary of the environmental damage more copper mining could cause. For 10,000 years, Mason Valley has been the Paiutes’ land to nurture and AP Photo/The Reno Gazette-Journal, Marilyn Newton
Water partially fills a huge pit, Jan. 2, left over from mining operations on the Yerington Paiute reservation in Yerington, Nev.
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See COPPER, 92
Vernon Rogers, with the Yerington Paiute Tribe, poses Jan. 2 next to a sign warning against drinking the water on the reservation in Yerington, Nev. The ground water was poisoned by the old Anaconda copper mine, which stopped production in 1978 but still is designated as a federal Superfund site, according to the EPA. Federal law requires that the reservation's drinking water must be bottled and provided by British Petroleum, the responsible party for the Anaconda ecological disaster. AP Photo/The Reno GazetteJournal, Marilyn Newton
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Copper ... Continued from page 90
Empty and full water bottles sit in the administrative office of the Yerington Paiute tribe Jan. 2 on the reservation in Yerington AP Photo The Reno GazetteJournal, Marilyn Newton
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respect, they said. The scar from the Anaconda copper mine cuts deep into their psyche. “They got the minerals out and left,” tribal member Vernon Rogers told the Reno Gazette-Journal about the Anaconda operation. “That (mine site) is like our living room. That is like us going into their house, digging up their living room and leaving. That’s what we’ve got here. These mining companies come in and do this and then the permanent residents suffer the consequences.” Caring for Mother Earth is a duty handed to the Paiutes by ancestors. They view earth — the dirt, sky, water and vegetation — differently than others. “We not only have to think of our generation, but we have to think of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” said LaVerne Roberts, a Yerington tribe member. That is why some tribe members are wary about the rebirth of mining around Yerington, even though it could be an economic godsend to Lyon County — Nevada’s most economically depressed county.
The future of copper mining around Yerington is now being decided in Washington, D.C. If Congress passes a bill allowing for the land transfer, the once-thriving copper mining economy of Lyon County could return in a big way. The land surrounds the Nevada Copper project. It would not only provide room for ancillary mining business, but also room for a recreational area, business park and outdoor concert venue in a grand plan to erase the economic disparity. The Nevada Copper project is expected to eventually create 800 mining jobs with an $85,000 average salary and up to 2,000 more jobs indirectly tied to the mine, according to county officials. Employing Native Americans The Yerington Paiutes have not opposed Nevada Copper’s Pumpkin Hollow mine in any legal way. Some may be wary but realize the return of copper mining is inevitable. Instead of opposing the mine, they would like to share in the economic relief. Lyon County’s unemployment is a state-leading 18 percent. Yet tribal officials estimate the unemployment at the Yerington Paiute reservation is about 65 percent. An official from the nearby Walker River Paiute Tribe told county commissioners that unemployment is about 80 percent among her people. “We are not saying that the mine would be such a bad thing,” said Gayleen Roy, Yerington Paiute education director. “We need jobs, too.” The tribe is only trying to better the lives of its members, Roy said. “We, as a tribe, have to move with the flow of things,” she said. “We have to change and adapt, just like everybody else.” Once hurdles like Congress and state permitting are finished, Nevada Copper will then focus on job training, including for Yerington and Walker River Paiutes, a top executive for Nevada Copper said. “We will make the opportunities available for all locals, tribal members and whoever is local,” said Tim Dyhr, Nevada Copper’s vice president of environment and external relations. Nevada Copper is teaming with the state’s Nevada JobConnect to train a workforce. “We believe there are people in the valley who want to work but don’t have the necessary skills now,” Dyhr said. “The job of an underground miner — nobody has experience in underground mining. We just can’t send people underground. You have to have a certain kind of training. The same thing applies to every function within the project.” Dyhr said he gave talks about employment potential to the Yerington and Walker River tribal councils. “It has been a while, but if I went back today, I’d tell them the same thing: Somewhere in the future we’ll have jobs (available) and we’ll have to figure out how to get people trained.” Wovoka wilderness area The Yerington Paiutes and the Walker River Paiutes also have another reason to support the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Las Vegas, made it clear a few months ago that he would only support the Yerington land transfer if it included a wilderness area named after the venerated Paiute holy man of the 19th century, Wovoka. Republican politicians like U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, were critical of Reid’s meddling but realized they must acquiesce to the Senate leader or the land transfer was dead. Last month, Lyon County commissioners approved a 48,000-square-acre wilderness area south of Yerington called the Wovoka Wilderness. Although Reid has helped the Yerington Paiutes with issues surrounding the Anaconda site, Paiutes said they were never consulted about the wilderness area but are ecstatic to get it. The wilderness area is sacred to the Paiute people of the region. “We have ties to that land,” Rogers said. “Our people go up there and we gather pine nuts. There are also a lot of sacred sites up there. It has a lot of petroglyphs. There are burial sites up there.” Animosity toward Reid Some tribal members and others associated with the tribe said they were surprised by the anti-Reid vitriol expressed by some Lyon County citizens during an early December Lyon commissioners meeting about the Wovoka wilderness. See COPPER, 94
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Copper ... Continued from page 93 Some ranchers were against the wilderness, fearing it would limit grazing. Others feared it would limit many outdoor recreations. “There was so much negativity toward Sen. Reid,” said Lauryne Wright, the Yerington Paiutes’ environmental director. “It was like, ‘I’m against anything Sen. Reid is for.’ “ Former Sen. Richard Bryan, a consultant for Nevada Copper, flew into Yerington for the next commission meeting and preached compromise. People bought what he was saying, and the wilderness area was approved. “Compromise is part of the big picture,” Bryan said. “By way of analogy, some people just hate wilderness, but many of them were prepared to say, ‘Look, I don’t like wilderness but there is another issue that was important and those concerns were that Yerington and Lyon County has some of the highest unemployment in the country and this was an opportunity for some economic development.” “So some who were not exactly rhapsodic about wilderness said, ‘Look, for the greater good of the community, I think I can support this.’ That’s how I saw the compromise,” Bryan said. Mining concerns Despite the promise of jobs and the wilderness area, Paiutes remain concerned about potential ecological damage that could be done by the Nevada Copper project. The same ground-water pollution that doomed their side of the valley could be repeated, Paiutes fear. And this time, it could be worse, they warn. Since the water runs south to north in the valley, some Paiutes are concerned the mine could potentially spoil municipal drinking water in Yerington and the down-river water supply of the Walker River Paiute Tribe. Yerington Mayor George Dini doesn’t share the concerns: “Not one bit,” he said. Dini points to advanced mining technology, new federal regulations and stringent environment standards of the EPA. “I don’t believe that there is any potential for the Yerington water system to be contaminated by Nevada Copper,” Dini said. “Nor do I believe that the Walker River could be contaminated in any way.” Dini is correct that environmental constraints are much more stringent compared to when the Anaconda mine was producing some 40 or 50 years ago, said John Hadder, director of the Great Basin Resource Watch. “There have been significant changes since the Anaconda mine was in place,” Hadder said. “We have better state regulations. We have a better calculation of the bonding that is necessary in case there is a problem. We have improvements in place in terms of the regulations. That being said, there still could be problems there with the existing regulations.” Nevada Copper has done significant studies on ground water, and those studies will be shared with the public after they are submitted to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. Dyhr understands the Paiutes’ wariness, since they have yet to see the studies. “Their fears are legitimate because they have not seen anything to say, ‘Do we know whether this will pollute the ground water or not?’ I would not ask them to do that. I would ask them to listen with an open mind to the information that we have developed and not prejudge it to think it will be contaminating their water supply.”
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Comstock Mining releases production update VIRGINIA CITY — Comstock Mining Inc. announced in January its 2012 fourth-quarter revenues, operating costs, updated federal permitting information, and an outlook for 2013. Comstock Mining Inc. commenced full mining activities in August and began pouring gold and silver in late September. In the fourth quarter, metal shipments totaled $5.4 million with gold revenues of $4.5 million and silver revenues of $900,000. The company plans to achieve a sustained production rate of 400 gold-equivalent ounces poured per week. Since the pouring began, the company has averaged 223 gold-equivalent ounces poured per week. In the past eight weeks, the company increased production to average 250gold equivalent ounces poured per week. In the past two weeks, the company averaged 300 gold-equivalent ounces poured per week. The company continues to advance activities and keep on track for achieving the 400 gold-equivalent ounce target rate by late April 2013, according to the Comstock Mining Production Update. “Over the past three months, we have successfully transitioned into production with less than optimal mining and hauling conditions and have begun growing our weekly metal pours toward our immediate objective of 400 goldequivalent ounces per week,” CEO Corrado De Gasperis said. “Costs have been reduced from a primarily construction and ramp up mode into a stable production mode, and have since been further reduced.”
The company crushed and stacked over 360,000 dry tons of mineralized material since production began, delivering 6,519 estimated ounces of recoverable gold and over 55,770 estimated ounces of recoverable silver to the leach pad. During the fourth quarter of 2012,the company’s Lucerne Mine operating expenses were approximately $4.1 million, including the higher haulage costs. Continued cost optimization resulted in December 2012 with mine operating costs of $1.3 million, further reducing our annualized spend rate to approximately $15.5 million and below plan, according to the release. “The estimated operating expenses do not include corporate administration or other general and administrative costs, nor do they include exploration and mine development costs,” the report stated.“Exploration and mine development activities were completed in early December 2012, with approximately $1.7 million expended. The Company is not currently drilling and does not plan on resuming these activities until the Lucerne Mine stabilizes at the 400 goldequivalent ounce weekly production rate.” The company plans to announce its audited 2012 annual financial statements on March 14. The company also made progress with the Bureau of Land Management regarding access to the primary haul road between the Lucerne Mine and the processing facility in American Flat. Late in the fourth quarter, the company and the BLM entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to expedite the remainder of the permitting process for the Lucerne
Right of Way permit. In January, the BLM launched public scoping for comments associated with the permit application and received “strong public support,” according to the release. The BLM is also concurrently processing a Color of Title permit application to resolve and recover the use of Lot 51, which is one of the main blocking factors limiting the use of the company’s existing haul road. Comstock Mining Inc. has updated its financial analysis for the Lucerne Mine and expects annual operating expenses to be approximately $13 million, plus approximately $2.25 million of additional, annual haulage costs. The company anticipates production rates beyond the 400 gold-equivalent ounces per week in the second half of the year, achieving between 18,000 to 20,000 actual goldequivalent ounces produced in 2013. “These production rates and costs are not only expected to result in positive cash performance, but the cash flows are anticipated to be sufficient for debt service and the resumption of self-funded development drilling by the Comstock team,” the report stated. “Our revenue growth and expense management is positively impacting our liquidity, stability and ultimately, our growth,” De Gasperis concluded in the report. “We are further minimizing mining costs across our system. We have also significantly reduced or eliminated external legal, administrative, environmental and regulatory costs associated with non-routine activities, positioning us well for 2013 growth.”
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An exterior view of one of the crushing plants at American Flat. AP Photo/The Reno Gazette-Journal, Marilyn Newton
A glimpse through a hole shows the graffiti covering the walls at the American Flat mill. AP Photo The Reno GazetteJournal, Marilyn Newton
Crumbling Comstock mill targeted for tear-down By JEFF DeLONG Reno Gazette-Journal
RENO (AP) — A crumbling concrete colossus alternately described as a hazard and as a historic resource in need of protection is once again being targeted for teardown by the federal government. Demolition of the eight structures that make up the United Comstock Merger Mill at Storey County’s American Flat is proposed in a new environmental study released by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as discussion over the site’s future ramps up. See MILL, 98
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AP Photo/The Reno Gazette-Journal, Marilyn Newton
The ruins of the United Comstock Mill at American Flat in Storey County, Nev.
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Mill ... Continued from page 94 Other options include leaving the graffiti-covered complex as is, saving the buildings but controlling access with full-time security, or tearing down five structures but leaving three standing. As it stands now, the mill simply poses too many hazards to the public, said Jim Schroeder, acting field manager for the BLM’s Sierra Front area. “It’s very dangerous,” Schroeder told the Reno Gazette-Journal. Others argue it should be protected as an important historic resource and potential tourist destination. “There’s no other structure like it in the world,” said Carson City resident Neal Dach. “It was right where modern science met the Wild West.” The issue arises after the BLM last year withdrew its decision to raze the complex amid concern the agency failed to follow proper historic preservation procedures. The new environmental assessment, released to the public early this month, is designed to address those concerns but still recommends demolition as the “proposed action.” Built in 1922, the United Comstock Merger Mill was used to process locally mined gold and silver ore with a cyanide solution. At the time, the mill was the largest, most modern and sophisticated operation of its type in the country but its time was short lived. It shut down in 1926, largely due to the plummeting price of silver. After closure, the mill was stripped of all equipment, metal and wood, with salvage operations causing signifi-
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cant structural damage, the BLM’s analysis said. The mill’s cavernous interior became an irresistible destination for keg parties, its walls a canvas for graffiti artists. Some practiced rappelling from its largest structure. In May 1996, a 44-year-old man driving an all-terrain vehicle on concrete steps inside one building was killed when the vehicle rolled over on top of him. At least three serious injuries have occurred there over the years, the BLM said. The 1996 fatality prompted the BLM to close all of the buildings at American Flat to public entry the following year. The site was fenced but fencing was repeatedly torn down as the buildings remained a popular, if hazardous, midnight destination. A 2008 audit of the site by the Department of Interior’s Office of Inspector General concluded the mill posed a “high risk” of liability to the government. Two years after the BLM’s initial decision to tear the facility down, nothing has changed. Crumbling concrete walls could collapse at any time, floors have massive holes, underground mill sumps are full of water posing a drowning hazard. For that reason, the roughly $4 million tear-down of the entire place makes sense, the BLM’s Schroeder said. “We’ve had one fatality. There’s been a number of injuries,” Schroeder said. “All of that makes it pretty clear it is a hazard. I think the record shows that pretty clearly.” Others continue to argue the mill is of sufficient historical significance to keep it standing. One of them is Dach, who submitted a proposal to the BLM to open a museum
AP Photo/The Reno Gazette-Journal, Marilyn Newton
Walls are covered in graffiti at the American Flat Mill. of Nevada history at American Flat. Demolition of the mill, Dach argues, “would be a pretty big loss.” “They’re still dead set on this. They’re going to destroy it,” Dach said. “I think that sends a message to people that history is unimportant. It is important to the history of that area and of the nation as a whole.” Converting the complex into a museum would protect a valuable historic resource and offer a needed revenue source, Dach said, arguing the public should support the “no action” option and thus allow his proposal to take shape. The BLM mentions Dach’s proposal in its new environmental study but does not examine it in detail, concluding it is “too speculative to implement” and not economically feasible.
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
The West Archimedes Pit at Ruby Hill Mine is set for a future expansion.
Ruby Hill expansion in limbo By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
EUREKA — U.S. Bureau of Land Management may hold the fate of Ruby Hill Mine in the palm of its hand. The Barrick Gold of North America surface mine has two different plans for the future, but the employees are hoping the site’s life is extended. Under the current permits, the life of the mine goes through 2014, General Manager Steve Yopps said. However, that mine life could be extended another seven years if the BLM determines Ruby Hill needs an environmental assessment instead of an environmental impact statement.
“The BLM will be making a determination this spring of whether it will be an EIS or an EA,” said Clark Burton, Ruby Hill environmental superintendent. To move forward with the expansion, the mine needs the EA because it takes less time. An EA takes about 18 months to complete but an EIS takes at least three years. If the BLM determines Ruby Hill’s expansion can move forward with an EA and Barrick funds the project, the mine will grow with the 426 West Archimedes Expansion Project, said Mike Protani, manager of project development.
Steve Yopps, general manager of Ruby Hill Mine, talks about the facility. Ross Andreson Mining Quarterly
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Ruby Hill ... Continued from page 99 “We will have to have the permit in hand by the end of 2014 otherwise we will have to close the mine and lose the workforce,” Protani said. “And the company has to fund the project.” He anticipates submitting plans for operation in the first quarter. “We’ll be working with Eureka County before we submit those plans,” Yopps said. The issues Ruby Hill may face include dewatering, ore transportation on State Route 278, air quality related to emissions, and protecting golden eagles and greater sage grouse. The mine is already transporting ore on the road, Protani said. “It won’t increase, it just would be for a longer period of time,” he said. Yopps and Protani both said the community has been supportive, but wants to be kept informed. “We’ve been operating a number of years and have developed a good relationship with the county and the community,” Protani said. “Hopefully that See RUBY HILL, 102 Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
At left: Mike Protani, Barrick’s manager of project development, talks about the current layout of Ruby Hill. Below: Protani shows what the property will look like if the expansion occurs.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Material is piled high from the secondary crusher at Ruby Hill Mine.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Above: Conveyors, a.k.a. “grasshoppers” line the side of an access road at Ruby Hill Mine. At left: An Hitachi Hydraulic shovel loads a haul truck in Phase 8b of the West Archimedes Pit at Ruby Hill Mine.
Ruby Hill ... Continued from page 99 will continue through the years.” If the expansion moves forward, Ruby Hill will purchase additional equipment. The site has 13 150-ton haul trucks and it will purchase five 240-ton trucks and one hydraulic shovel, Protani said. The surface disturbance will increase almost 400 acres and 75 percent will be on public land. Employment at the mine may increase by 50 people to 200 people in 2018. Ruby Hill is estimated to produce 285 million tons over the entire 7-year life of the mine expansion. Despite the proposed expansion, there shouldn’t be an increase in pumping rates for water. The dewatering rate is less than 1,000 gallons per minute, Protani said. “Most of that water is reinfiltrated,” he said. Barrick’s investment for the expansion would total about $300
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million, Protani said. The proposed project will have three major pieces — an open pit expansion, waste dump and a minor expansion to the heap leach pad with a new events pond. Protani said there will also be a couple of minor additions — a truck shop and truck wash expansion and an additional location for truck fueling. A stormwater diversion ditch will be constructed. “The leach pad will be at capacity so we will start reclamation of the old portion of the pad,” Yopps said. Ruby Hill has a few employment openings — especially for diesel mechanics. The mine has 140 employees. If the expansion happens, the site will change from a 20 hours per day and six days a week operation to a 24/7 mine.
A loader moves material at stockpile, moves dirt to dump pocket to the crusher at Ruby Hill Mine. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Construction continues on the electrowinning plant at Newmont’s Phoenix project.
Phoenix copper facility still in development By JOHN RASCHE Free Press Staff Writer
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Cody Holland, project controls, talks about the copper solution that will be pumped up to the tank farm that is about two miles from the pump station south of this area at Newmont’s Phoenix mine site.
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BATTLE MOUNTAIN — What would otherwise be considered waste material from gold mining processes will soon be turned into large, valuable sheets of copper at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Phoenix mine. The 3-feet by 3-feet sheets will be a quarter-inch thick and weigh close to 120 pounds. “We’re taking waste and turning it into revenue that will create new opportunities for the company,” Project Controls Cody Holland said. Construction of the copper leach facility began in July 2012. The copper leach pad has been completed, but the plant is still being developed. The copper leach plant is expected to be complete by mid-August of this year. The Phoenix mine is located 12 miles southwest of Battle Mountain on private and public lands in Lander County. Leaching for copper is not too unlike leaching for gold, said Matt Murray, senior external relations representative for Newmont. “The copper SX/EW (Solvent Extraction/Electro-Winning) plant is similar to a gold
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Newmont’s Phoenix project general manager Joel Lenz holds a chunk of Phoenix ore. flotation mill,” he said. “The copper process will use an acid-base solvent rather than cyanide, which is used in gold processing and extraction.” The solution from the copper leach pad, which is about 8 million square feet, will be pushed up a solution channel, roughly two miles long, by several vertical turbine pumps to the plant once it is commissioned. The sulfuric acid solution trickles down to the bottom of the leach pad and travels into the pregnant leach solution pond. The solution collected in the pond will contain the copper material and the pumps will send the solution back to the plant in what Cowan called a closed-loop process. The plant will produce 20 to 25 million pounds of copper a year, project manager Austin Cowan said in the Fall 2012 Mining Quarterly.It will produce about 230 million pounds over the life of the mine and about 300 million pounds of copper over the life of the project, estimated at 30 years. By producing the copper sheets at the Phoenix facility, the mine will be able to provide customers without the use of a middle man, Murray said. In addition to creating new revenue for Phoenix, the copper plant will add 50 new fulltime job positions as well. Approximately 125 construction workers were hired for the development of the plant. Employment is expected to peak in the early spring for an additional 50 to 75 construction workers to complete the project. The copper SXEW plant addition will disturb 902 acres, including 708 acres on private land owned by Newmont.
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Barrick reports $3.06 billion loss By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO — Barrick Gold Corp.’s CEO said the company is going to change the way it does business after it reported a net loss of $3.06 billion for its 2012 fourth quarter. “Investors are rightfully demanding fundamental change in the gold industry, and Barrick is driving this new paradigm,” said Jamie Sokalsky, president and chief executive officer of Barrick. “Rising costs, poor capital allocation and the pursuit of production growth at any cost in the industry have led to declining equity valuations across the sector. “The message is clear: the industry must chart a new path forward. Barrick highlighted the need for change last year, and we are increasingly taking strong action and refocusing our business based on the principle that returns will drive production, production will not drive returns.” The Toronto-based company reported the net loss Feb. 14, and it included a $4.2 billion after-tax impairment charge related to its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia. The adjusted net earnings were $1.11 billion. For the full year 2012, Barrick reported a net loss of $670 million, including after-tax impairment charges of $4.4 billion. Adjusted net earnings of $3.83 billion ($3.82 per share) were the second highest in the company’s history. Barrick recorded a total after-tax asset and goodwill impairment charge of $3.8 billion for the copper business
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unit in the fourth quarter, as the new life-of-mine model for Lumwana reflects higher operating and sustaining capital costs and reduced profitability. However, Barrick’s full year 2012 operating cash flow of $5.44 billion was a company record. “Barrick’s strategy prioritizes shareholder value creation by focusing on maximizing risk-adjusted rates of return and free cash flow through a disciplined approach to capital allocation,” Sokalsky said. “The execution of this strategy will position the company to return more capital to shareholders over time. We made some significant initial progress in the second half of 2012 and we are taking further action in 2013 and beyond.” Barrick will continue to advance its Nevada projects. “Nevada is a core operating region for Barrick and is the cornerstone of our success,” Sokalsky said. “Nevada contributed over 40 percent of our total 2012 production and represents about a third of our total 2012 reserves.” North America Regional Business Unit North America produced 960,000 ounces at all-in sustaining cash costs of $823 per ounce and total cash costs of $482 per ounce in the fourth quarter. Pre-commercial production from the new Pueblo Viejo mine, Dominican Republic, in the fourth quarter was 65,000 ounces (Barrick’s 60 percent share), while plant commissioning advanced. The mine achieved commer-
cial production in January. For 2013, Barrick’s share of production from Pueblo Viejo is anticipated to be 500,000-650,000 ounces at all-in sustaining cash costs of $525-$575 per ounce and total cash costs of $375-$425 per ounce. The Cortez mine produced 350,000 ounces at total cash costs of $242 per ounce in the fourth quarter. Cortez is expected to contribute 1.17-1.24 million ounces in 2013 at total cash costs of $255-$275 per ounce on lower grades and a change in the ore mix to more heap leach tons, which have lower recoveries. Goldstrike produced 330,000 ounces in the fourth quarter at total cash costs of $506 per ounce, reflecting lower grades and lower tons processed through the autoclave. Production in 2013 is forecast to be 0.87-0.94 million ounces at total cash costs of $680-$700 per ounce, primarily due to reduced autoclave capacity associated with construction of the thiosulphate project, which is expected to be completed in mid-2014. North America is anticipated to produce 3.55-3.70 million ounces in 2013, reflecting the ramp-up of Pueblo Viejo to full production in the second half, partially offset by lower expected production from Goldstrike and Cortez. All-in sustaining cash costs for 2013 are forecast to be $820-$870 per ounce. Expected total cash costs of $495-$545 per ounce reflect lower grades at these mines which are anticipated to offset lower cost ounces from Pueblo Viejo, as well as higher capitalized stripping costs.
A mountain of silver
BLASTS FROM THE PAST
The rise and fall of Treasure City By JOHN RASCHE Mining Quarterly Staff Writer
WHITE PINE — The story of Treasure City begins with stolen beans and ends in forlorn ashes, according to variations of the ghost town’s legend. But somewhere in between the birth and death of the mining town, there was silver. Lots and lots of silver. Blacksmith A. J. Leathers and his partner Tom Murphy were the first men to stake claims in the area. The two men were prospecting the White Pine Mountains in January of 1868, the legend continues, when a nearby Shoshone stole baked beans from their unoccupied tent. Courtesy of the Northeastern Nevada Museum Archives
An old photograph from downtown Treasure City shows a lively population in 1860.
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Treasure City ... Continued from page 107 “Napias Jim,” however, felt guilty for stealing the food and returned to the two men three days later. The thief’s name is suspect. “Napias” is the Shoshone word for gold and is almost too coincidental for the serendipitous event that would proceed his apology. As payment for the stolen beans, Napias Jim presented them with a piece of silver ore. When the two prospectors expressed excitement for the restitution, Napias Jim guided them north along the foothills to the 9,000-foot level of a mountain soon to be known as “Treasure Hill.” The story might sound far-fetched, but therein lies the romantic nature of folklore and legends. Other details about the history of Treasure City vary drastically in Gerald B. Higgs’ book, “Lost Legends of the Silver State,” Frank C. Robertson’s and Beth Kay Harris’ “Boom Towns of the Great Basin,” W. Turrentine Jackson’s “Treasure Hill” and Don Ashbaugh’s “Nevada’s Turbulent Yesterday,” but the dramatic unfolding of the town remains consistent in all three reports. The “Hidden Treasure Mine,” located on the east side of Treasure Hill, immediately caught the attention of other prospectors and the area turned into a flurry of mining communities. Four prominent towns arose around the top of the mountain, known as Treasure Peak: Hamilton (initially called Cave City), Treasure City, Shermantown, and Swansea. Courtesy of the Northeastern Nevada Museum Archives
Remnants of Treasure City still remain in the area.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Above: Mine buff John Stellner talks about the tramway driving sheave at the upper end of tramway at Belmont Mine. The Treasure City buildings are now rubble, but would have had similar structures to Belmont and Hamilton. These three mining towns were within a few miles of each other. Above at right: Ore was hauled on this tramway in carts. This view is looking down tramway "cables" from mine toward the Belmont mill.
At right: An illustrated map of Treasure Hill in the White Pines District. Courtesy of the Northeastern Nevada Museum Archives
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Treasure City ... Continued from page 108 Treasure City was located three miles southeast of Hamilton, practically on top of Treasure Peak. Shermantown was five miles south of Treasure Peak. Swansea was about a mile and a half north of Shermantown. Information about the Hidden Treasure Mine is limited. The richness of the area is exemplified by the historians in a tall tale about two miners who built a shelter out of rocks during the winter and sold the walls for a fortune in the summer. “What made it (Treasure Hill) so interesting was that it was practically pure silver they (the miners) were chopping at,” said John Stellner, an amateur mining historian and photographer in Spring Creek. “The fact that the silver ore was so rich caused a frantic rush and gave rise to a more commercial community around it.” Within two years of the Hidden Treasure Mine discovery, there were approximately 14,000 mine claims, according to Higgs. Shortly after the Hidden Treasure Mine, another bonanza was discovered on Treasure Hill: the Eberhardt. The mine’s open pit glory hole was measured 70 feet by 40 feet and an average of 20 feet deep. Eberhardt produced 3,200 tons of ore that sold for $3.2 million, resulting in an average price of $1,000 per ton, according to Ashbaugh. One six-ton boulder of highgrade silver retrieved from Eberhardt ran for $96,000. “Descending the mine on a rope, we found ourselves
among men engaged in breaking down silver by the ton,” wrote Rossiter W. Raymond, mining engineer and U.S. Commissioner of Mining Statistics, of the Eberhardt mine in 1869. “The light of our candles disclosed great black sparkling masses of silver ore on every side. The walls were silver, the roof over our heads silver, the very dust which filled our lungs and covered our boots and clothing was a gray coating of fine silver.” The population of Treasure City ranges among the historians. From it’s start in 1868 to its demise around 1873, there were approximately 6,000 to 9,000 people living in the city. Fred N. Holabird, who wrote “The Rush To White Pine Revisited” for the “Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly” in 1998, believed that the Treasure City population approximated between 12,000 to 15,000 in the spring of 1869. Jackson, however, wrote that in the mid-winter between 1868 and 1869, the entire population of the White Pine District was only 2,500 to 3,000. “By 1869, the population of the White Pine Mining District soared to an estimated 12,000,” Jackson wrote. In either case, Treasure City was not the largest of the four mining communities. The town of Hamilton had a population of 15,000, according to “Nevada’s Turbulent Yesterday.” The city also held the county seat with a $55,000 courthouse to match, according to “Boom Towns of the Great Basin.” Hamilton also had a schoolhouse, a St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, a post office, and an opera house, according to Ashbaugh.
Treasure City did, however, have a newspaper called “White Pine News,” according to Holabird. In his book, Jackson summarized the role of three of the Treasure Hill mining communities: “Hamilton was the seat of government and the source of supplies; Treasure City provided the mineral wealth; Shermantown was the processing center.” Because of its elevated location, Treasure City was snowbound for most of the winter. In the spring, water was scarce and expensive. Hamilton’s White Pine Water Co. had to pump water from Illipah Springs uphill to Treasure City, according to Holabird. “The hilltoppers were a gay lot and spent freely, even during the dreary, snowed-in winters when they were isolated except by snowshoe, sled and horses,” Ashbaugh wrote. “They paid two dollars for a handful of crackers and twenty-five cents for every bucket of water. There wasn’t great demand for the latter, according to all information available, since water was used only for cooking. Whiskey was cheaper.” Drunken revelry was common among the four Treasure Hill communities. According to Higgs, one vile sort of entertainment involved the killing of a chicken. If a man could pull off the head of a chicken in one yank, he would win a dollar. If he could not, he would forfeit a dollar. But the rowdy fun began to fade once the sparkle of See TREASURE CITY, 112
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Treasure City ... Continued from page 111 silver became dull and decrepit. “Unfortunately, the silver deposits were flat and shallow,” Holabird wrote. “The first sign of decline came in August 1869, when notices of assessments on mining shares for White Pine stock began to fill the newspapers ... Many people did not pay assessments, and their stocks became void.” Holabird also claimed that when the First National Bank of Nevada overextended in 1869, the branches at Treasure City and Hamilton closed — leaving depositors’ money in doubt. Higgs, on the other hand, stated that Treasure City’s downfall began in 1873. “Instead of improving with depth, these mines began to give out completely,” he wrote. “The geologists reasoned that the Lode structure was, in effect, upside down, and what had been the top should have been the bottom.” Although originally enchanted with the Eberhardt mine, Commissioner Raymond appears to have changed his mind about the silver prospects in 1870. He noticed that the mine’s mineralized fruits were only partial vein deposits formed along fractures and faults within altered limestone. “Doubtless it would be extravagant for anyone to expect the frequent occurrence of rich bodies like that discovered in the Eberhardt, since experience has proved that such occurrences are exceptional.” Stellner said that a large part of the Treasure City’s demise was the depletion of the silver. “They thought this (silver) would last forever as they were digging into this rich rock, but they found nothing but the rock,” Stellner said. “The understanding of the geology was very poor. It’s very likely that they (the mining operations) put more money into the ground than what they took out of it.” The Coinage Act of 1873, known as the “Crime of ‘73,” also contributed to Treasure City’s misfortune by discontinuing the minting of silver dollars in the United States, according to the Britannica Online Encyclopedia. The final death blow to Treasure City’s economy was a fire that ravaged the community. Accounts of the fire are not consistent, however. Whether it was one fire or a combi-
Above at left: The Belmont Mill. Several tons of rocks in wooden box were used to tension tramway carrier cable. At left: About the only thing left standing in the old mining town of Hamilton is this wall. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
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Treasure City ... nation of several, it seems as if there was no interest in rebuilding what had been damaged. Holabird wrote that fires in 1873, 1874, and 1875 essentially finished off the towns of White Pine. According to “Boom Towns of the Great Basin,” the initial fire was started by an arsonist in 1873. Alexander Cohn, a resident of Hamilton, operated a cigar store. When the economy began to decline, Cohn burned down his business in order to collect his insurance. He “thoughtfully closed the city’s main water valve before applying the torch,” the book sarcastically remarked. “One third of the city went up in smoke causing a loss of more than $600,000. Mr. Cohn got seven years in the state penitentiary.” Another fire the next year put the last nail in Treasure City’s silver-depleted coffin. By 1880, there were less than 100 residents in the town, “Boom Towns” stated. Ashbaugh, on the other hand, believed the Hamilton fire started in 1885, which sealed the fate for all the surrounding White Pine communities — including Treasure City. Before the fire, Treasure City was already on its last limbs according to a report Ashbaugh cites from the San Francisco “Evening Bulletin” on Jan. 15, 1879. “Hamilton now has about 100 inhabitants, most of whom are merely waiting in dreary interaction for something to turn up,” Naturalist John Muir wrote. “Treasure City has about half as many, Shermantown has one family, and Swansea (which had about 3,000)
none, while on the other hand the graveyards are far too full.” According to several versions of the area’s history, the last resident of the Treasure Hill communities was Jim Riley, the postmaster for Hamilton. Riley purchased the minimum number of stamps to stay in business and then traded them for other commodities, according to “Boom Towns.” He was arrested at an unknown date, but acquitted on a technicality. By the time Riley left in 1879, only rubble of the Treasure Hill communities remained. “A few foundations remain scattered here and there,” Higgs wrote. “Hamilton and Treasure City, and the Eberhardt, Aurora (an additional smaller mine), and Hidden Treasure mines, are still there. The Withington Building (the Hamilton hotel) is still partially standing, as are a few buildings in Treasure City.” Jackson notes that in the 1880 census, however, there were fourteen registered voters still living in Treasure City. Although Stellner admitted there isn’t much left in Treasure City to see, a tunnel running through the south end of Treasure Hill to the north end still remains. The tunnel, which runs several thousand feet through the mountain, was used to search for other ore deposits. He believed the tunnel to be still accessible, but exploration would be dangerous and ill-advised. “The problem with going into it is the air quality,” he said. “Supposedly, it’s also caved in back there.”
Treasure City is similar to most ghost towns. Mineral deposits discovered by chance and fortune-seeking prospectors established the foundation of the mining community. Eventually, the silver ran out and the miners ran off. The city’s history is intertwined with dramatic legends of thieves, drunks, and other unsavory characters — a common element for all abandoned mining towns. But from atop its mountain, Treasure City peers out over the rural landscape — once pregnant with rich silver deposits — like a fallen angel mourning the relics of its heavenly kingdom. The silver no longer sparkles in Treasure City, but its surplus of myths and legends shimmer under fiery summer suns and frosty winter moons like a rich mineral resource forever to be unclaimed.
Blasts From The Past Do you know of a historic mining town? Tell us about it and it may appear in a future Mining Quarterly. To submit ideas email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Courtesy of American Vanadium
A panorama of American Vanadium’s Gibellini property in Eureka County.
American Vanadium looks at battery market By JOHN RASCHE Free Press Staff Writer
EUREKA — A new mining company has found a valuable resource in the hills near Eureka. The mineral is not gold, silver, copper or molybdenum. The alloy metal is called vanadium, and it smells. “Vanadium has a musky smell,” said Ron MacDonald, executive chairman of American Vanadium, which is based out of Vancouver, B.C. That distinct smell, however, could mean big business. Vanadium is a transition metal typically collected as a by-product of iron ore slabs, MacDonald said. As a result, the product is dirty and contaminated with other metals. “Vanadium is not found in natural ‘pure metal’ form and occurs as a component of minerals and as an impurity in some hydrocarbons and bauxites,” said Desiree Polyak, mineral commodities specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey. “The main raw materials for vanadium production are derived directly or indirectly from mined ore which, together, account for somewhere around 80 percent of vanadium produced. Vanadium produced as a byproduct of steel making has been the most significant source of supply for more than 30 years.” A majority of vanadium — more than 90 percent, according to American Vanadium — is used to strengthen steel, but purity of the mineral can dictate potential. And vanadium mined and processed at the Eureka Gibellini Project will be 99.999 percent pure, MacDonald said. “You can literally crack off a piece of rock and see the vanadium exposures in the rock,” he said. “Eighty percent of it doesn’t even have to be crushed. Most of the work is already done. It’s like Mother Nature has decided to produce an easily extractable vanadium resource. “Over a millennia ago, the weather basically broke down a massive deposit of hard rock and the vanadium leeched into the shale. It’s like it was pre-processed.” Pure vanadium can serve a higher purpose than just strengthening steel, he said. It can promote renewable energy. American Vanadium has its sights set on vanadium flow batteries, which might improve large-scale renewable and grid energy storage systems that could be used to increase grid transmission efficiency and incorporate renewable energy and electric vehicle charging systems. “The revolution is here,” he said, regarding the new batteries. “The holy grail has been found. And we will provide the material for that holy grail.” Vanadium flow batteries are good for 15 to 20 years, MacDonald said, and they can almost instantly be recharged. They don’t burn out and the valuable electrolyte material in the vanadium does not degrade. “I think we’ve become experts, globally, for the flow battery market,” he said. “The more we get into this, the more we focus on China. China is now the biggest renewable
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energy source in the world. Nine percent of power is currently from renewable energy and it targets 15 percent by 2020.” Although the company is looking at the China market as an example, American Vanadium is focusing all of its corporate efforts in North America. “We want to leverage this unique deposit to create a new industry in Nevada,” MacDonald said. “This little community (Eureka) in the middle of Nevada could be a huge magnet for investment in economic, renewable energy in the United States.” See VANADIUM, 116
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Vanadium ... Continued from page 114
Courtesy of American Vanadium
American Vanadium collects bulk samples for metallurgical testing at the Gibellini site.
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Gibellini will be the only primary domestic vanadium producer in the country, Polyak said. The Gibellini Project is now in the permitting process with the Bureau of Land Management. Once the project gets approval from the BLM, MacDonald said the operation could begin producing Green mining within nine months at 11 In addition to providing raw million pounds per year. Gibellini has an 8-year material for renewable energy, mine life, but American the operation itself seeks to go Vanadium owns four other green. “We’re putting our money properties in the same where our mouth is,” MacDonald area, all of which — studies said. indicate — contain vanaGibellini has plans to install a dium. solar field site and a micro-grid. “Our geologists have Vanadium flow batteries will also said that they’ve never be used for operations. MacDonald said Gibellini will seen a deposit like this,” use one-tenth the water of a traMacDonald said. Combined, the company ditional mine as well. “We’ll probably be the expects 20 years of progreenest mine in America,” he duction, which will make said. up for five percent of the world’s supply of vanadium. The price of vanadium flow batteries is expected to increase, MacDonald said, but American Vanadium has
a plan to lessen the financial burden on its clients. The most valuable aspect of the battery is the vanadium electrolyte, which currently makes up 38 percent of the total cost, because it doesn’t degrade. Vanadium electrolyte currently costs around $15 to $20 per pound, depending on quality. “There was a eureka moment,” MacDonald said. “Why don’t we just lease it (the battery)? You can pay it over time, like a mortgage.” By leasing out the batteries, American Vanadium hopes to share the emerging vanadium technology with more consumers. “We’re in a really good spot right now,” MacDonald said. “We’re working with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and other national labs. Hopefully, we’ll be announcing our flow battery partner very soon.”
Courtesy of American Vanadium
Rocks of vanadium can be picked off the ground at American Vanadium’s Gibellini Project.
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Gold company stakes claim in old Cassia mine site BY LAURIE WELCH The Times-News
BURLEY — A gold exploration company has staked a claim at the old Pegasus Gold mining site in the Black Pine Mining District in southeast Cassia County. Scott Nannenga, Minidoka District ranger for the U.S. Forest Service, said the Western Pacific Resource Corp. has been drilling test holes at the site now called “Mineral Gulch” since 2011. The company, based in Vancouver, B.C., with an office in Elko, staked a mining claim through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Nannenga said the company is also interested in reprocessing “heap” material. The heap is a multi-ton pile of material previously mined during the Pegasus operation, which extracted gold using a cyanide heap leach operation. Pegasus operated the mine from 1990 to 1997. Workers removed 500,000 ounces of gold from the mine in that time, Nannenga said. New methods of extracting gold can make it worthwhile for a company to return to a site like Black Pine, Nannenga said. And there’s the current value of gold: about $1,672 an ounce. “... Back then gold was worth about $200 an ounce,” Nannenga said. Western Pacific is a company that goes in and finds the gold deposits. Other companies then come in and mine them, said Nannenga. According to the company’s website, it completed 38
drilling test holes in 2011 and received a five-year drill permit in June 2012. An extensive section on the website regarding the Black Pine area states sporadic small-scale gold and base-metal mining occurred in the area as early as 1915. Company president Eric Saderholm worked for 12 years in northern Nevada for Newmont Mining Corp. before joining Western Pacific. The latter’s website credits his contacts and knowledge for that company’s acquisition of the Black Pine claim. Since the Pegasus mine closed, Nannenga said, efforts to restore the site have been underway. Tons and tons of rock that came from the mining pits were piled on a liner. Water percolates down through the rock and into a water purifying system. The system consists of large U.S. Forest Service vats. The Black Pine Mine was operated by Pegasus Gold from 1990 to 1997 on “Basically the water filters through iron fil- the Black Pine Division of the Sawtooth National Forest in southeast ings, which removes the arsenic and heavy Cassia County. metals that you wouldn’t want in your drinking water,” Nannenga said. “There is some elevated New mining of the heap could cause issues such as a nitrate levels in the water afterward similar to levels near rupture in the lining, Nannenga said. dairies. It’s then put out on the land in a land applica“That’s why this is all in the preliminary stages,” tion.” Nannenga said. “They’d have to come in and make a proThe liner contains between 1 million and 1.5 million posal on the process and show us how they plan to do gallons of water at any given time. that.”
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Ross Andreson/Elko Daily Free Press file
Heavy mining equipment is on display from Komatsu during the 2012 Mine Expo at the Elko Convention Center.
Elko Mine Expo at capacity By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO — Mining companies and vendors will once again flock to Elko in June and the booth space may be sold out soon. The Elko Mine Expo, June 6-7, has 469 booths available, said Elko Convention and Visitors Authority Events Coordinator Jennifer Stotts. “It’s busy. We’ve had lots and lots of phone calls,” she said.
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Stotts said within the first week of sending reminders out to previous booth holders she received confirmation on 107 returning exhibitors. “I still have some sitting on my desk,” Stotts said in February. Last year the expo had 417 exhibitors and Stotts expects the same amount or more this year. “We have more than 130 on the waiting list,” she said. “The response I am getting of the exhibitors is they’re asking for more space, but we’re getting to the point that we can’t expand the show any more, because we don’t
have the hotel space.” Last year, vendors were staying as far away as Winnemucca and West Wendover, she said. “Some of the bigger companies rent out 20 rooms at once,” Stotts said. Events during the Mine Expo will be similar to last year. Stotts said the golf tournament is already sold out. However, the opening ceremonies will not be a sit down banquet this year. Stotts said in the past the ECVA staff noticed people were networking during the cocktail hour and then just
Ross Andreson/Elko Daily Free Press file
Mining drills reach to the sky at the Atlas Copco booth during the 2012 Mine Expo at the Elko Convention Center. sat for the banquet and didn’t intermingle. She said the informal reception should give people more time to talk with each other this year. The reception is scheduled at 6 p.m. June 5. “We will still have food and cocktails though,” she said. Stotts said there may be a few other new things at the expo, but they were not for publication yet. Another change to the event may be when Minor Miners occurs. Unlike other years, school will still be in session during the expo. “We’re not sure how many kids will be in attendance,” Stotts said. In February Minor Miners was still scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 6 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 7. The Elko Mine Expo will be open to the public 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 6 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 7. Exhibit set-up will be June 3-5. Exhibitors who need to confirm a booth or b placed on the waiting list should contact Stotts at 1-800-248-3556 or 775-738-4091 or email her at email@example.com. The first right of refusal ends March 11 for past exhibitors.
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Barrick supports employees in the military From BARRICK BEYOND BORDERS
Submitted/Barrick Beyon Borders
Preston Crossman, a maintenance mechanic at Cortez Hills and a Nevada National Guardsman, served in Afghanistan for 12 months in 2009 and 2010.
When he interviewed for a job at Barrick’s Cortez Hills mine in Nevada last January, Mauricio Moreno did not like his chances. A former coal miner from Utah, he also served in the U.S. National Guard and had just found out he would be deploying to Afghanistan in May. He would be there for about a year and assumed Barrick would not want to hire someone who would soon be leaving for such a long period of time. “I told them I would love to work for their company, but that I was going to be deployed, and they just looked at me and said, ‘So?’,” Moreno wrote in an email from Afghanistan. Chad Marchand, General Supervisor of Underground Operations at Cortez Hills, was one of the people who interviewed Moreno. “He was absolutely qualified for the job, and the fact that he was leaving didn’t sway our decision,” he said. “We fully support him in his service to our country and told him his job would be waiting for him when he came home.” Barrick actively recruits military veterans, attending military job fairs and establishing relationships with technical schools that have a high cohort of veterans. Like mining, military life is structured and disciplined with an intense focus on safety and training, said Dana Pray, Recruiting Manager for Barrick North America. “These men and women know how to get up early in the morning and go to work,” she said. “They understand how a chain of command works, and they usually have a skill set that we’re after, whether it’s as mechanics or machine operators.” While it is not clear how many Barrick employees in the U.S. have military expe-
Submitted/Barrick Beyond Borders
Mauricio Moreno, center, an underground miner at Cortez Hills, re-enlists in the National Guard in September 2011.
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rience, the number is substantial. Marchand, who served seven years in the Navy, estimates as many as 20 percent of the 220 employees in the Cortez Hills underground division are veterans. “It seems like almost every other person is prior military and very proud of it,” he said. To support veterans in need of employment, Barrick works with the state of Nevada, which is where most of the company’s U.S. operations are based. For instance, Barrick guarantees interviews to job applicants referred to the company by the state’s Hire Nevada Veterans First program, Pray said. “We have hired quite a few veterans in this way,” she said. While a military background helps get a foot in the door, it’s up to the individual to prove he or she belongs, said Preston Crossman, a maintenance mechanic at Cortez Hills. “There’s an appreciation for veterans, but in the end, it all boils down to what can this person do to help everybody out,” he said. Crossman, 33, is a member of the Nevada National Guard and served in Afghanistan in 2009 - 2010. A week before he returned home to Las Vegas, he found out that the company he worked for before deploying was going out of business. A father of three, Crossman took whatever work he could find to make ends meet. In May, a friend told him Barrick was hiring and urged him to apply. He started at Cortez Hills in June. “When I came to Cortez Hills I was literally down to my last $250,” he said. Crossman’s National Guard service requires him to train with his unit two days a month, in addition to an annual two-week training stint. Barrick pays for any
Submitted/Barrick Beyond Borders
Lt. Col. Kurt Neddenriep and his wife Katie. missed wages and maintains all benefits during his training. The company also maintains all benefits for employees called to active duty and guarantees their jobs will be waiting when they return. That support is comforting to Moreno, who left his wife and two-year-old son at home. “It’s really nice to know that, if something happens back home with my family, I don’t have to worry about medical insurance because my employer is taking that weight off my shoulders,” he said. Moreno added that he is also grateful for the support that he received from his Barrick colleagues. Shortly before his departure, for instance, the Cortez Hills
Underground held a division-wide barbecue for him and Anthony Ordaz, a co-worker who was also deploying to Afghanistan. “I have never experienced something like that before,” Moreno said. Chad Marchand said the barbecue took place over several days to ensure everyone from the division could attend. It coincided with Armed Forces Day on May 19 and had the wider purpose of honoring all employees in the division who have served in the military. “We wanted to show our appreciation to everyone and send these two guys off in style,” he said. Katie Neddenriep, a community relations program manager for Barrick in Elko, Nevada, is not a veteran, but her husband is. Lt. Col. Kurt Neddenriep served 10 months in Afghanistan in 2009 - 2010, leaving his wife to wait, and worry, at home. While it is difficult for soldiers called to active duty to part from their loved ones, it is no less difficult for those left behind. Katie Neddenriep said the support she received from Barrick, particularly her then boss, Lou Schack, helped her immensely. “Lou was just great,” she said. “He was flexible with me and he really just cared about how I was doing and that made it easier to come to work each day.” Her words echoed those of Moreno. A Sergeant in the 624th Engineering Company, he only recently gained email access in Afghanistan. When he logged on for the first time, his inbox was flooded with messages from Barrick colleagues who wanted to know how he was doing. “It’s really nice to know that somebody cares about you.”
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America's Growing Minerals Deficit The U.S. is now tied for last, with Papua New Guinea, in the time it takes to get a permit for a new mine By DANIEL McGROARTY President of American Resources Policy Network
After every election, there's a mad scramble in Washington over the must-makeit-happen agenda for the newly inaugurated president and Congress. There are welcome signs from the White House's own Material Genome Initiative that securing America's access to critical metals and minerals will be high on the list. A good thing, too. Jobs and capital increasingly flow to countries that command the resources to power modern manufacturing, and American manufacturing is more dependent on metals and minerals access than ever before. Yet there is no country on the planet where it takes longer to get a permit for domestic mining. Among other consequences of this red tape, there are now 19 strategic metals and minerals for which the U.S. is currently 100 percent import-dependent-and for 11 of them a single country, China, is among the top three providers. Even so, the president's interest in the subject is a double-edged sword: Will U.S. policies be guided by sound science? Or will they be unduly influenced by environmental politics-despite the fact that many minerals we need are essential components for the production of green energy? The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy underlined the importance of this access in a Jan. 14 statement. "A century ago, plentiful elements like iron, lead, and copper fueled our Nation's transition to an industrial economy. But today, many of the materials that characterize the industrial cutting-edge-such as rare earths, indium, and lithium-are not as naturally abundant or easy to access as their predecessors." The implication that we've entered a brave new world where arcane "technology metals" replace their industrial precursors is a bit misleading, though. The situation is actually more acute. The country's metals dependency is even more pronounced than the White House indicates-and some of those metals and minerals, important in many processes, are not just "cutting-edge" ones like rare earths and indium. General Electric, for instance, is now using 72 of the first 82 elements on the periodic table in its product-manufacturing mix. Not just iron, lead and copper, either. GE also needs zinc, aluminum, tin and nickel-elements that the American Resources Policy Network argues are best understood as "gateway metals," resources whose byproducts include scores of critical metals recovered during mining. Consider copper, which serves as a gateway to 21 elements on the periodic table, collectively supporting transportation, manufacturing, modern medicine and the major alternative-energy sources to power the clean technology of the future. Copper can also be processed to produce selenium and tellurium (used in solar power), molybdenum (used in steel super-alloys), and rhenium (used in jet engines, lead-free gasoline and treatments for liver and bone cancers). Finally, copper is sometimes found with rare-earth elements which are used in alternative-energy production, for wind turbines, electric-vehicle batteries and compact-fluorescent light bulbs. The country's advanced weapons systems are equally-and increasingly-metals-
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intensive. Measured in metric tons, copper is the second-most-used metal in defense applications. In April 2009, the Department of Defense reported that a shortage of copper had caused a "significant weapon system production delay for DOD." The White House's Material Genome Initiative says its goal is to "support U.S. institutions in the effort to discover, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials twice as fast, at a fraction of the cost." The need for speed is accurate, but it's going to prove difficult for American innovators to be twice as fast when America's mine permitting process is easily twice as slow as in other mining nations. The U.S. has domestic resources for 18 of those 19 metals and minerals we now exclusively import from abroad. But a maze of government regulations has made mining them here too difficult. That's the consistent finding of the annual Behre Dolbear Country Rankings for Mining Investment, known in the mining world as the "Where-Not-to-Mine Report." The U.S. is currently tied for last place (with Papua New Guinea) in the time it takes to permit a new mine-seven to 10 years on average. In a world where the technology industry regards a year as an eternity, waiting a decade for new supplies of critical technology metals will severely hamper America's ability to innovate. Without significant reform of the country's mining-permit process, the U.S. may be starved of the resources to build everything from smartphones to weapons systems, impairing both the economy and national security. Reform could begin with streamlining the permitting process to get rid of redundancies at the local, state and federal levels, so the process can run concurrently. Among other benefits, this would mean that environmental challenges and litigation-bitter ironies given the fact that the mined metals and minerals are needed for many forms of green energy-do not set the permit process back repeatedly. All that will depend on whether the White House initiative is the first step toward a strategic-resource policy that asserts the importance of domestic metals and minerals exploration. Or will the initiative bring only a federally funded study group writing what might prove to be the definitive white paper on the industrial decline of the U.S.? ——————— This piece was originally printed Jan. 30 in the Wall Street Journal. McGroarty is president of American Resources Policy Network, a nonpartisan education and public-policy research organization based in Washington, D.C.
Critics urge removal of Nevada mining protections CARSON CITY (AP) — Valentine’s Day in Nevada’s capital provided a love-gone-wrong theme in February for demonstrators who urged lawmakers to “divorce”the mining industry by abolishing constitutional protections afforded since statehood. “If we don’t do it this time it will never happen,” said Bob Fulkerson, executive director of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, organizer of February’s demonstration. “Their sweetheart tax deals will be enshrined forever.” About 50 people protested outside the Legislature Building to urge approval of SJR15. The proposed constitutional amendment would abolish the limits on net proceeds taxes paid on minerals and allow the Legislature to consider tax rate changes. Organizers had goody bags with candy hearts that read “Support SJR15.” They planned to meet individually with legislators during the day to solicit their backing. Mines pay a net proceeds tax on minerals, an amount calculated after extraction and other business costs are deducted. Nevada is the largest gold producer in the U.S., and with gold prices around $1,600 per ounce, critics argue that the industry gets off tax cheap while reaping huge profits from Nevada’s limited natural resources. Mining representatives counter that the industry also pays other taxes that other businesses pay, and that the constitutional provision sets a higher tax rate for mining than other property taxes in a county. First approved by the 2011 Legislature, the measure must be approved again to send it to voters in 2014. “No other business has special protections,” said Guy Rocha, a Nevada historian and retired state archivist. He said his principle argument in supporting SJR15 is to allow voters to decide whether to give legislators authority to debate the net proceeds tax every session, as might be dictated by the state of the economy. Tim Crowley, president of the Nevada Mining Association, said the mining industry has had a “solid relationship” with the state since 1989, when voters increased the tax rate to 5 percent. In 2011, Crowley said the levy yielded $250 million. The association notes that the 1989 amendment to the constitution exempted mines and mine claims from the Legislature’s mandate to create a uniform and equal system of taxation, resulting in a higher level of taxation for the industry. Passage of SJR15, the association said,“would restore the obligation to treat mining like all other business.”
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Investment group names Barrick in Global 100 most sustainable corporations TORONTO — Barrick Gold Corp. has been named to the Global 100, a listing of the most sustainable corporations in the world, by Corporate Knights, a Canadian media and investment research company. It is the first time Barrick has been included on the list, which has been announced annually at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, since 2005. The listing was announced Wednesday. “This recognition confirms we are living up to our core values and validates our responsible mining approach,” Barrick President and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Sokalsky said. “There is a direct connection between corporate responsibility and our long-term business success. By operating in partnership with local communities and stakeholders, we are able to maintain our license to operate and create shareholder value. We will continue to look for ways to improve and build on this successful and collaborative approach.” The Global 100 recognizes companies that are world leaders in managing environmental, social and corporate governance issues. To determine the Global 100, Corporate Knights screened approxi-
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mately 4,000 mid- and large-sized public companies, arriving at a short list of 350 companies that were evaluated across a range of sustainability metrics. These included energy and water consumption, carbon emissions, safety and “clean capitalism pay link” (performance-based compensation for senior executives related to sustainability). Corporate Knights uses its Global 100 ranking and underlying research methodology to explore “sustainable” investment strategies with investors. “The Global 100 is one of the few equity indexes that we are aware of that has outperformed the MSCI All Country World Index - the Global 100’s benchmark by over 900 basis points over the last eight years,”
said Doug Morrow, Vice President of Research at Corporate Knights. “It turns out that our methodology for stock selection in the Global 100 is a strong proxy for corporate operational efficiency, which has been an increasingly important driver of stock returns in recent years.” In addition to being ranked in the Global 100, Barrick was also recently named by Corporate Knights as the top performing company in a sustainability ranking of the Canadian mining sector. Barrick has also been ranked as a world leader in social and environmental responsibility for five consecutive years by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and is listed on the NASDAQ Global Sustainability Index of the top 100 companies. For more information about the Global 100, visit www.global100.org. Barrick is the gold industry leader in production, reserves, and market capitalization. Based in Toronto, the company operates globally, with a portfolio of 27 operating mines and advanced exploration and development projects located across the world. Barrick trades on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and employs 26,000 people worldwide.
U.S. nonfuel mineral production increases for third straight year WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nonfuel mineral production values increased in the United States for the third consecutive year, up $1.7 billion since 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey announced in its Mineral Commodity Summaries 2013. The estimated value of mineral raw materials produced at mines in the United States in 2012 was $76.5 billion, a slight increase from $74.8 billion in 2011. Net exports of mineral raw materials and old scrap contributed an additional $21 billion to the U.S. economy. The annual report from the USGS National Minerals Information Center is the earliest comprehensive source of 2012 mineral production data for the world. It includes statistics on about 90 mineral commodities essential to the U.S. economy and national security, and addresses events, trends, and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries. “Minerals are the raw materials for construction, manufacturing, high technology, new industries, jobs, and ultimately economic expansion,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “These summaries are where geology meets economics, to create the complex tapestry of variations in mineral production over time and space.” The United States continues to rely on foreign sources for raw and processed mineral materials but, for the first time since 2002, the United States was not 100 percent import reliant for rare earths, as rare earth mining resumed at Mountain Pass, Calif. Minerals remained fundamental to the U.S. economy, contributing to the real gross domestic product at several levels, including mining, processing and manufacturing finished products. Minerals’ contribution to the GDP increased for the second consecutive year. “Decision makers and policy makers in the private and public sectors rely on the Mineral Commodity Summaries and other USGS minerals information publications as consistent and unbiased sources of information to make business decisions and national policy,” said John DeYoung, director of the USGS National Minerals Information Center. Production and prices increased for most industrial mineral commodities mined in the United States in 2012, but production and prices for nearly all metals declined. Industrial mineral commodities include things like limestone, silica, sand and gravel, and are used for industrial purposes like building and road construction, plastics, glass and paper. Domestic raw materials and domestically recycled materials were used to process mineral materials worth $704 billion. These mineral materials, including aluminum, brick, copper, fertilizers and steel, and net imports of processed materials (worth about $27 billion) were, in turn, consumed by downstream industries with a value added of an estimated $2.4 trillion in 2012. The construction industry began to show signs of improvement during 2012, with increased production and consumption of cement, construction sand and gravel, and gypsum, mineral commodities that are used almost exclusively in construction. Crushed stone production, however, continued to decline. The nonmetallic mineral products industry was boosted by the rebound in construction activity in 2012, with more than half of its output going to the construction sector. The recovery in the U.S. housing industry is fueling demand for industrial minerals and products. Mine production of 15 mineral commodities was worth more than $1 billion each in the United States in 2012. These were, in decreasing order of value, gold, crushed stone, copper, cement, construction sand and gravel, iron ore (shipped), molybdenum concentrates, phosphate rock, lime, industrial sand and gravel, soda ash, clays (all types), salt, zinc and silver. Eleven states each produced more than $2 billion worth of nonfuel mineral commodities in 2012. These states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. Nevada produced the largest value at $11.2 billion. The mineral production of these states accounted for 64 percent of the U.S. total output value. The USGS Mineral Resources Program delivers unbiased science and information to understand mineral resource potential, production, consumption, and how minerals interact with the environment. The USGS National Minerals Information Center collects, analyzes and disseminates current information on the supply of and the demand for minerals and materials in the United States and about 180 other countries.
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AP Photo/Amber Hunt, File
Workers gather in a former gold mine that's been revamped into the Sanford Underground Research Facility nearly 4,900 feet beneath the earth May 30 in Lead, S.D. The lab's experiments will include the world's most sensitive dark-matter detector. Scientists say that the lab could help scientists understand the origins of the universe. The opening of the lab was was voted the seventh most important news story in the AP's annual survey of its South Dakota member editors and staff.
Reporter's notebook: Touring the depths of the earth South Dakota gold mine turned into a research facility By AARON ORLOWSKI Rapid City Journal
RAPID CITY, SD â€” I tense as the elevator cage rattles, quakes and trundles through the darkness as we head into the depths of the earth. A mass of people in hard hats is packed in the cage as the slippery walls of the Yates Shaft at the former Homestake gold mine in Lead skim by. Some workers
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clasp lunch pails. The scent of something like coffee seeps from a thermos that could have been carried by miners who once worked these caverns in a hunt for gold. But these weren't miners I joined on a trip down the deep shaft last week. These were scientists, from the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, the United States and all around the world. They're here at the Sanford Underground
Research Facility to study, or attempt to define, alien particles such as dark matter and neutrinos. A humid gust ruffles the scientists and my ears pop as we descend almost a mile below the earth's surface. I'm here, reporting for the Rapid City Journal, on a rare media tour of the lab, which I've reported on before but had never seen firsthand. Getting here required driving from Rapid City into the snow-covered Northern Hills at 5 a.m. and donning tall rubber steel-toed boots, coveralls with reflective stripes, See RESEARCH, 130
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Research ... Continued from page 128 safety glasses, a hard hat and a backpack with a worrisome item called the “self rescuer” — a gas mask-like contraption to filter out carbon monoxide. In the elevator, I feel the ghosts of gold miners from an age not so far back. Homestake closed in 2003, and the process of turning the mine into a lab started in 2006, the result of a $70 million donation from Sioux Falls philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, $40 million in state money and federal funds from the Department of Energy. The elevator cage creaks to a stop after 10 minutes, the door rolls up like a garage door and the scientists pour out. The once-bare rock walls are coated with shotcrete and painted white. To the left, dark tunnels lead to the Ross shaft, which until recently was the main route from the surface to the 4,850-foot level where we departed. At this depth, scientists are working on two main projects: the LUX and the Majorana experiments. Nearly a mile of rock helps keep out pesky interference such as cosmic rays and radiation. Deep underground, it's quiet. Really quiet. I follow my guide, Bill Harlan, the communications director at the lab, to the Davis Campus, which hosts both experiments. The campus was completed in May. Entering the clean room To enter the Davis Campus, I must strip off my coveralls, scrub the mud off my boots with jets of water and slip on booties. This place needs to be kept clean, to avoid disrupting the experiments. Even photography equipment must be wiped down and sanitized. Through a sealed door, part of the Majorana experiment appears to my left. Here, scientists are seeking to discover whether neutrinos, a ubiquitous subatomic particle of which 62 billion pass through your thumbnail every second, are their own antiparticle. To do so, scientists are building an extremely insulated cryostat —a container used to keep a substance very cold —in which they'll put the element germanium-76. The scientists are hoping to observe a reaction called neutrino-less double-beta decay, which is when two neutrons convert into two protons and two electrons. Such a conversion has never been observed, and would be extremely rare. So for the scientists to sense it, all the cosmic background noise must be eliminated. Most theorists think neutrinos will
AP Photo/Amber Hunt, File
Fritz Reller has been working underground for 30 years. After the Homestake mine closed for gold mining in 2002, he continues to work underground securing the mine tunnels. Now, the Sanford Laboratory 4,850 feet underground brings scientists and graduate students from across the world to work on detecting nutrinoless double-beta decay and dark matter particles. turn out to be their own anti-particle, but there’s a chance they may not be. “If the neutrinos are not their own anti-particle, we don't see it. So there's obviously a risk," John Wilkerson, the principle investigator on the experiment, tells me, and I sort of understand, mostly, I hope. Talking with scientists from Sandford is often like this, and it continued from there. To make make the cryostat quiet enough, the germanium-76 will be insulated, from the inside out, by two inches of electroformed ultra-pure copper, two inches of commercial copper, 24 inches of lead and a plastic shield. The electroformed copper is made underground, away from pesky particles like uranium and thorium that would give false radiation signals. The copper is deconstructed to its elemental parts by dissolving it in acid and then reassembled from the ground up by running an electric current through the acid solution. I vaguely remember doing the same thing in high school science class. But not on this scale. Technicians wrapped in head-to-toe white lab suits behind glass windows machine bolts out of the elec-
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troformed copper. Science fiction archetypes began to swirl in my mind. The reason to delve into this science is more philosophical than I might have guessed. Though the detector technology and ultra-clean processes may lead to innovations in microchips, bomb detectors and medical imaging, that's not the driving purpose. "The real outcome of this is to give us an understanding of how all the forces go together and work. That is something that people have wondered about since Greek times. Where do we come from? What are we made out of?" Wilkerson tells me as we watch the technicians. Mining for dark matter We trek a short way down the hall to the LUX experiment. This one is deep underground for the same reasons as the Majorana —to avoid the background noise so prevalent on the surface. But these scientists are looking for something perhaps more elusive than neutrino-less double-beta decay: dark matter. When scientists calculate the mass of the universe and compare it to how galaxies move gravitationally, the num-
bers don't crunch quite right, according to current laws of physics. There has to be something out there that comprises a significant amount of the mass in the universe. That's dark matter. But beyond that, scientists don't know much. "It's the turn of the 21st century and the embarrassing situation is we still don't know what 95 percent of the universe is made of," Rick Gaitskell, the principle investigator for the LUX experiment, told me. We descend a flight of steps to a room with a water tank 24 feet in diameter and 24 feet tall filled with 72,000 gallons of highly purified water. Inside that tank is another cryostat filled with one-third of a ton of liquid xenon cooled to -100 degrees Celsius. When the switch is flipped on this LUX experiment in the coming weeks, scientists are hoping to observe a particle of dark matter —particles of which are soaring through us all the time —interacting with a molecule of xenon. More than 120 lightsensitive detectors can sense the light that would be produced from an interaction. With two weeks of data, Sanford scientists will surpass the volume of research ever completed on dark matter.
The 4,850 feet of rock, the tank, the water and even the xenon all shield the detector. "In the middle, it is so quiet, if we start seeing reactions in there ... it's highly likely it has to be the case those events are from dark matter," Gaitskell said. Gaitskell's rapid-fire ramblings gradually take on a more philosophical flavor. He pontificates on the meaning of science and why researchers strive to understand the universe. Sure, there are side benefits to the LUX experiment: inspiring Black Hills area students to study science, boosting the local economy. But the root of the experiment is an eons-long mission to know who we are. "Are we really okay not knowing what 95 percent of the universe is made of?" Gaitskell said. I think of the same pursuit that compelled people more than a century ago to excavate the open cut outside Lead, then to sink the Ross and Yates shafts once they could cut no further. The difference is they weren't mining for knowledge. They were mining gold. We leave the LUX area, re-donning our coveralls and putting on hard hats. As we walk away, the world of science and sterile, white-washed rooms fades quickly. We board a decades-old mining cart on narrow tracks. More exploration to come Harlan, my guide, wants to show me the other side of this underground labyrinth. Soon the cart is whooshing through tunnels and I smell rock dust and something incinerated. Our driver, Bill Heisinger, fearlessly pilots us down these tracks, arteries through rock he's known since he started working at the mine almost 40 years ago. The work is different now. "It's a lot easier going. They just don't have the hustle and bustle of having to get rock out everyday, so many tons of rock out. It's just deliver the supplies, take care of the shafts," said Heisinger, one of 70 former Homestake Mine employees who works for the lab. Other experiments are on the horizon. In the Long Baseline Neutrino experiment, scientists intend to shoot a stream of neutrinos underground from the Fermilab in Chicago to the Sanford lab to study how the neutrinos change en route. But that experiment would take more space and cost more money than anything the lab has done yet. Other experiments, too, are already in progress, including ones into microbiology and geology. Fourteen research groups are active at the laboratory, though LUX and
AP Photo/Amber Hunt, File
A sign welcomes visitors to a lab 4,850 feet beneath the earth. Majorana are the main ones. The cart takes us back to the elevator cage. This time, just a few people board the cage, including a former miner, Fritz Reller. He looks like a man from another era: grit and grime coat his face, his helmet looks like it came from a World War I German soldier and his hands look strong and are covered in grease. The elevator cage creaks and bumps as it starts its ascent. With most of our headlamps off, the dark crushes in, the lab white suits fade from memory and I'm left looking at a miner who just stepped in from an era 30 years earlier.
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ADVERTISERS INDEX Alphabetical 3D CONCRETE, INC .....................................................................................21 5TH GEAR POWERSPORTS ........................................................................20 AGRU AMERICA, INC ................................................................................127 AK EARTHMOVERS ...................................................................................108 ALBARRIE ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICE ...............................................15 ALLIANCE DOCUMENT TECHNOLOGIES ...........................................18 ALTERNATIVE MAINTENANCE SOLUTIONS ......................................12 AMEC ENVIRONMENT & INFRASTRUCTURE ....................................47 AMERCABLE ..................................................................................................17 AMERICAN STAFFING, INC.......................................................................33 AMERICHEM .................................................................................................14 AMES CONSTRUCTION .............................................................................13 ARCADIS US, INC .......................................................................................118 ARNOLD MACHINERY..................................................................................9 ASGCO MANUFACTURING INC ..............................................................25 ATLAS COPCO ...............................................................................................24 B X DRILLING SUPPLY ................................................................................53 BARRICK GOLD OF NORTH AMERICA .................................................31 BC WIRE ROPE & RIGGING .......................................................................38 BEL-RAY ............................................................................................................7 BELT CONVEYOR GUARDING .................................................................29 BLACK ROCK DRILLING ............................................................................15 BOART LONGYEAR DRILLING SERVICES ....................... Center Spread BOART LONGYEAR DRILLING SERVICES ............................Back Cover BOART LONGYEAR DRILLING SERVICES ............................................26 BOOT BARN, INC............................................................................................4 BOSS TANKS ...................................................................................................26 BROADBENT & ASSOCIATES ....................................................................33 BRUNNER & LAY ..........................................................................................27 CARIBOU INC................................................................................................16 CARLIN TREND ............................................................................................33 CARWIL ...........................................................................................................84 CASHMAN EQUIPMENT ............................................................................23 CASHMAN EQUIPMENT ............................................................................65 CASHMAN EQUIPMENT ..........................................................................115 CATE NEVADA ..............................................................................................28 CATE NEVADA ............................................................................................136 CDC RESTORATION & CONSTRUCTION .............................................30 CEMENTATION USA INC. ..........................................................................34 CHAMBERS GROUP .....................................................................................32 CHEMTREAT..................................................................................................22 CLEAN HARBORS ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES ...............................30 COACH USA / ELKO INC ..............................................................................3 134 MINING QUARTERLY, Elko, Nevada SPRING 2013
COMPRESSOR PUMP & SERVICE, INC ...................................................35 CONNORS DRILLING ..................................................................................34 CONSOLIDATED ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTORS. ................................32 DMC MINING SERVICES ............................................................................37 DMC MINING SERVICES ............................................................................42 ELKO DAILY FREE PRESS ...........................................................................51 ELKO CONVENTION & VISITORS AUTHORITY .................................38 ELKO TOOL AND FASTENER ....................................................................39 ELKO WIRE ROPE & MINING SUPPLY ...................................................36 ELKO WOMENS HEALTH CENTER .........................................................41 ENCORE AUDIO VISUAL DESIGN ...........................................................43 ENVIROSCIENTISTS, INC...........................................................................41 ESCO SUPPLY .................................................................................................49 FABEN CO, INC ..............................................................................................47 FAST TRACK TRANSPORT LLC ................................................................32 FERGUSON ENTERPRISES .........................................................................45 FLOW CONTROL EQUIPMENT ..................................................................5 FORD STEEL .................................................................................................131 FORDIA USA ..................................................................................................45 GCR TIRE CENTER .......................................................................................50 GENERAL MOLY, INC. .................................................................................50 GENERAL TOOL INC ...................................................................................52 GHX INDUSTRIAL ........................................................................................55 GOLD DUST WEST - ELKO .........................................................................51 GOLDCORP-MARIGOLD MINING CO. ..................................................57 GRAYMONT WESTERN US INC...............................................................64 GREAT BASIN INDUSTRIAL ......................................................................59 HAMILTON SOLAR ......................................................................................69 HANLON ENGINEERING ...................................................... Center Spread HARD ROK EQUIPMENT, INC. ................................................................69 HARRIS EXPLORATION ..............................................................................63 HAYLEY’S FINE GIFTS .................................................................................59 HIGH MARK CONSTRUCTION ................................................................60 INTEGRATED POWER SERVICES, LLC ...................................................61 J.S. REDPATH CORPORATION ..................................................................71 JBR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS................................................63 JENNMAR CORP............................................................................................44 JENTECH DRILLING SUPPLY ...................................................................56 JOY GLOBAL.............................................................................. Center Spread KEJR, INC GEOPROBE SYSTEMS ..............................................................46 KENNAMETAL TRICON METALS ..............................Inside Front Cover KENWORTH SALES ......................................................................................64 KIVA ENERGY ................................................................................................62
ADVERTISERS INDEX Alphabetical KNIGHT PIESOLD.........................................................................................62 KOMATSU EQUIPMENT COMPANY ......................................................73 LEDCOR ..........................................................................................................54 LEGARZA EXPLORATION..........................................................................66 LES SCHWAB ..................................................................................................40 LIEBHERR MINING EQUIPMENT............................................................72 LOGAN CORPORATION ...............................................................................5 MAP SCIENCE................................................................................................77 MIDWEST INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY .............................................................79 MINE SOURCE INC. .......................................................................................6 MINING & ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICE ...............................................77 MOUNTAIN STATES CONTRACTING ....................................................78 MYRNA’S HOT SHOT AIR FREIGHT ........................................................72 MYRNA’S HOT SHOT AIR FREIGHT ......................................................114 NA DEGERSTROM ........................................................................................81 NATIONAL EXPLORATION .................................................. Center Spread NEFF’S DIESEL ...............................................................................................83 NEVADA MINING ASSOCIATION............................................................11 NEWMONT.....................................................................................................78 NORTHERN NEVADA EQUIPMENT .......................................................75 NORTHERN NEVADA EQUIPMENT .......................................................19 NUCLEAR CARE PARTNERS LLC .............................................................85 OAK TREE INN ..............................................................................................72 ORMAZA CONSTRUCTION ......................................................................88 PAC-VAN .........................................................................................................86 PLUMB LINE MECHANICAL .....................................................................91 PLUMB LINE MECHANICAL .....................................................................25 POLELINE CONTRACTORS .......................................................................91 PRECISION AIR CARGO INC .....................................................................86 Q & D CONSTRUCTION .............................................................................93 RAM ENTERPRISE INC ...............................................................................95 RAPID TRANSPORT, LLC ............................................................................88 REDI SERVICES LLC .....................................................................................97 RENO FORKLIFT ...........................................................................................98 ROCKMORE INTERNATIONAL ................................................................98 ROSS EQUIPMENT .....................................................................................101 ROUND MOUNTAIN GOLD CORP.........................................................103 ROYAL GOLD ...............................................................................................101 RUBY VISTA LODGING ASSOCIATION ................................................105 RUD-CHAIN, INC/ERLAU. ........................................................................105 S&G ELECTRIC MOTOR REPAIR ............................................................107 SACRISON ENGINEERING.........................................................................88 SAN JUAN DRILLING.................................................................................107
SAS GLOBAL MINING CORP ...................................................................109 SCOTTS MARKET LLC ................................................................................88 SGS MINERALS ............................................................................................111 SIERRA FREIGHTLINER............................................................................113 SILVER STATE FIRE ....................................................................................117 SLEEP SOURCE ..............................................................................................87 SMALL MINE DEVELOPMENT LLC ......................................................119 SNYDER MECHANICAL............................................................................113 SOUTHWEST GAS ........................................................................................68 SPINNER II PRODUCTS DIVISION, TF HUDGINS INCORPORATED ......40 SPRUNG INSTANT STRUCTURES, INC.................................................121 SRK CONSULTING......................................................................................123 STEMLOCK, INC..........................................................................................123 STOCKMEN’S HOTEL & CASINO ...........................................................125 SWICK MINING SERVICES (CANADA) ..................................................94 TAHOE RESOURCES INC..........................................................................129 TAIGA VENTURES..........................................................................................6 TAYLOR MADE IRON SERVICES ............................................................131 TECH-FLOW ..................................................................................................90 TELESTO NEVADA, INC ..............................................................................92 TETRA TECH INC. ........................................................................................92 TMEIC ............................................................................................................106 TONATEC EXPLORATION, LLC ................................................................89 TRAYLOR BROS., INC...................................................................................70 TREAD CORPORATION............................................................................116 VALLEY RUBBER & GASKET ...................................................................125 VICTAULIC .....................................................................................................74 VOGUE DRY CLEANERS.............................................................................72 WESTERN TIRE RECYCLERS .....................................................................21 WOMACK MACHINE SUPPLY ................................................................126 WORLDWIDE RENTAL SERVICES .........................................................124 YANKE MACHINE SHOP ..........................................................................116
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