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
Fa ll 201 2
Looking toward the
Nevada Mining Association is celebrating its centennial. NMA President Tim Crowley on a mine tour at Goldstrike.
The historic shaft on Ruby Hill mine property still stands today.
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
— INSIDE — MINING ASSOCIATION Nevada organization turns 100
YUKON-NEVADA Jerritt Canyon sees changes — Page 14 NEWMONT Mining starts at Emigrant —
Phoenix begins copper facility —
BARRICK 150 years of mining at Cortez —
Ruby Hill works to expand —
Ranching on mining lands —
Mt. Hope hopes for approval soon — Page 96
BLASTS FROM THE PAST SERIES
ELKO — Change and growth seems to of the past. We chose to start in Jarbidge and will wade through the other historic be rampant in the mining industry this mining towns in the state. The series will year, but it is also a time of recognizing range from towns that are nothing more the history of the business in the state. than memory to those that are still The Mining Quarterly has been pubbustling communities. lished by the Elko Daily Free Press since Another historic event this year is 1997. During those 15 years, only a few connected to Barrick Gold Corp.’s Cortez editions don’t have Adella Harding’s Hills property. People name in them. She have been mining in this began the publication district for 150 years. and was either in Who says mining isn’t charge of it or writing sustainable? articles for it over the Along with the susyears. She retired in tained mining, several May 2006, but mines are expanding. returned in 2009 and Barrick’s Ruby Hill will saw the Quarterly grow soon expand and to almost 140 pages. Newmont Mining Harding retired Corp.’s Phoenix and again in June of this Emigrant mines began year. new construction. She leaves behind Yukon-Nevada’s her some very hefty Jerritt Canyon also shoes to fill. completed several I have been with the improvements on its Elko Daily Free Press site and plans to expand for almost 10 years. I into a new underground started as the crime mine. reporter and over the A few other mines are years grew into other working toward positions, but along groundbreakings. the way I learned from ARIANNE OBAK General Moly hopes Adella. Fortunately she its Mt. Hope molybwas still in Elko while I C OWN denum mine will see transitioned into final approval by the heading up the Mining end of the year. Quarterly. Newmont continues work on its Long She was available to give me advice Canyon property. The proposed mine’s when I needed it and helped fill in any environmental impact statement was gaps on the history of the mines. This history has been a big part of the published in July. Besides the mines, we took a more inFall edition of the Mining Quarterly. depth look at the people who monitor I thought it would be appropriate to the environmental permits at the sites. have the Nevada Mining Association on We also have numerous stories on the cover since the organization turns mining industry vendors throughout the 100 this year, and hosts its annual conQuarterly. vention the week the Quarterly pubWith a Quarterly that is about 140 lishes. pages, I can’t possibly give you a sumWhile researching the story I came mary on every story that is inside, so be across some facts I didn’t know about sure to peruse the publication from front Nevada mining. If anyone had asked me last month where mining is ranked in the to back. state’s gross domestic product, I ——————— wouldn’t have put the industry as low as Marianne Kobak McKown is editor of the No. 9. Mining Quarterly and mining editor for Along with the mining association’s the Elko Daily Free Press. She can be history, we started a new series in the reached by email at Quarterly focusing on the mining towns firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Jarbidge came and went —
Mining industry full of history, growth
Find the job you want — Pages 133-135
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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Nevada Mining Association turns 100 By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO — The Nevada Mining Association turns 100 this year, but the organization isn’t sitting on its laurels. It is in recruit mode and doing what it can to help its members. The association was founded as the Nevada Mine Operators Association and will celebrate its centennial this week during its annual convention at Lake Tahoe. Nevada Mining Association President Tim Crowley said the association faces many challenges, but one goal making headway is recruitment. This year the group focused on vendors. He said the association has “always had a nice vendor base” with about 200 members, but there are thousands of companies that provide services in the mining industry. “It’s been great,” Crowley said of vendor membership. “We’ve grown by more than 20 percent in the last two months.” When asked what brought in the new members, he said, “we just simply asked if they were interested. We’ve never done that before. We told them we think we can provide you value.” Crowley said the Association brings together like-minded businesses. “It takes hundreds of businesses to make a mine run,” he said. “As we’re growing and doing well, that means more to more businesses.” Representatives from local mining companies said the association helps the industry as a whole. Barrick Gold of North America has been a member of NVMA since 1987 — the same year Barrick purchased the Goldstrike property and established a presence in Nevada, said Louis Schack, director of communications for Barrick Gold. “The association provides a forum for communication and coordination with other member companies,” Schack said. “The NVMA is a place where constructive relationships between member companies allow us to share best practices, learn from one another and to work toward mutual goals with regard to regulatory oversight and legislation relevant to the industry. “We also work together toward improvements in employee health and safety, environmental protection, tech-
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Nevada Mining Association President Tim Crowley explains features of open pit mining to a government group during a tour of Barrick Gold Corp.’s Goldstrike Mine.
Nevada mining by the numbers 24 metal mine sites (the state counts mines that abut each other as one) 24 industrial mineral mine locations 6 oil fields 12 geothermal power plants 9th - mining’s rank in the state’s gross domestic product 12,000 - people directly employed by the mining industry $83,000 - average mining salary $5,500 - the average Nevada businesses pay per employee in state and local taxes $18,000 - the average Nevada mines pay per employee in state and local taxes
nological innovation, employee relations, employee benefits, access to education, business development and community investment. The NVMA is the voice of Nevada’s mining industry and the hundreds of businesses that support our operations — and vice versa.” Newmont Mining Corp. also has been a longtime member of the Association. Newmont has been pouring gold in Nevada since 1965 and may have been a Information from the Nevada Mining Association member of the Association just as long ago. The NVMA’s records only go back to in the organization (Environmental, operations, has worked for the company. 1987, however Newmont has been a Health & Safety, Public Outreach, “The Nevada Mining Association pro“proud member” at least for the 25 years vides a wide range of services for its memMary Korpi, director of external relations bers,” Korpi said. “The various committees See ASSOCIATION, 3 for Newmont Mining Corp.’s Nevada
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Officials from various Nevada’s governmental groups look at open pit mining during a tour of Barrick’s Goldstrike.
Association ... Continued from page 2 Government Affairs, Education, Taxation, etc.) are a technical resource for its members. Through the association and participation of its members they have worked together to be safer and better stewards of the environment, our communities and for our state.” General Moly has only been a member of the association since 2007, but it still finds the organization to be an asset, said Zach M. Spencer, manager of external communications for General Moly. “The Nevada Mining Association, via its nine committees, provides a great opportunity for General Moly as we permit and develop the Mt. Hope Mine to exchange best practices with other member companies — especially in the areas of mine safety and health, environment and education,” he said. Crowley said the Association is helpful to its members because there are aspects to the industry all of the members have in common. “We want to be better stewards of the land and we all want to be safe,” he said. “If you are a member you can be part of the discussion and you can help. All we do is open the doors.” Schack said businesses who want to work in the mining industry need to join the Association. “Any mining company, supplier or vendor hoping to do business with mine operators should join the Association,”
Nevada mining by the years 1880s - Comstock Lode silver ore deposit found in Virginia City 1912 - Nevada Mine Operators Association established 1920s - Silver and gold discovered in Tonopah and Goldfield. Copper mining begins near Ely 1952 - Association name changed to Nevada Mining Association 1962 - Carlin Trend gold deposit discovered 1980s - Current mining boom begins Information from the Nevada Mining Association
Schack said. “It is the one place where all of the state’s mining interests come together to support a healthy and prosperous industry in Nevada.” Korpi agreed. “All mining companies and vendors operating in Nevada should be members of the Association,” she said. “It provides that unified voice for the industry and is a valuable source of information both for members and other interested parties. See ASSOCIATION, 4
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Association ... Continued from page 3 The association effectively works with regulators, elected officials, community and business leaders and key stakeholders on issues of interest and importance to the industry.” Spencer said, “At General Moly, we encourage mining companies and vendors to become members of the Nevada Mining Association in order to share industry knowledge and work together to enhance an important industry in Nevada that continues to grow and diversify our economy.” Despite these assets, the Association and its members still face some challenges. Crowley said workforce development has been difficult for the mining industry. “We’re hiring, but finding skilled workers we depend on is hard to do,” he said. “At the top of the list are electri-
cians, machine operators and engineers, but they’re hiring across the board.” While workforce development is a challenge, finding housing for those who are hired is more difficult, Crowley said. “From the Association’s standpoint, we’re trying to make sure the building industry understands our industry,” he said. “We are a sustainable industry.” Crowley said there have been some successes and he is starting to see new developments built in the state. Another challenge for the industry is permitting for mine projects. “We want that to be accelerated as fast as possible so we can develop more jobs,” Crowley said. One of the ways the Association tries to spread all of these messages is through education. “We’re trying to help the non-mining Nevadans to understand what we do,” Crowley said.
The Association hosts tours of mine sites throughout the summer. In July, Crowley led a tour for the Nevada Association of School Boards. “Almost always people are impressed by the level of efficiency and education at the mines,” he said. “We are doing tours almost weekly through the summer months. ... We try to showcase the mines to the curious.” Crowley said the Association will also be at the International MINExpo in Las Vegas at the end of September. “We will use the show to show off some of the new technology in the mining industry — robotics and the utilization of biofuel,” he said. In celebration of the Association’s 100th birthday, its blog is tracing the history of mining in the state, Crowley said. “When an organization reaches 100 years, it has definitely achieved a signifi-
cant milestone,” Spencer said. “The mining industry is a vital element of Nevada’s heritage that we can all be proud of and the Nevada Mining Association ensures this high-tech industry will remain a strong foundation for Nevada’s future.” Members will also talk about the Association’s evolution during this weekend’s convention. “In a lot of ways the core function of the association has been the same — safety and environment,” Crowley said. “The businesses that make up the Association have changed profoundly in terms of technology. For safety, there has been a cultural change on how safety is viewed.” Anyone who wants to join the Nevada Mining Association can go to the organization’s website at www.nevadamining.org or contact the association at 775829-2121.
Nevada metals and minerals and their uses
Ross Andreson/Elko Daily Free Press
Construction continues in August on the Rabbit Brush Run apartments off Mountain City Highway.
Mines, local developers work to combat housing shortage By ANDREA GLOVER Mining Quarterly
ELKO — With high levels of exploration and the permitting of new projects fueling growth, Elko-area mines are faced with another challenge: Where to put their newly-hired miners. A little more than two years ago,members with Barrick Gold Corp. approached Pedro Ormaza, owner of Ormaza Construction, about building apartments for Barrick employees. With developers across the nation facing difficulties obtaining financing, Ormaza considered it a good opportunity, and a partnership was born. “When we started it two and half years
ago, you couldn’t have got a loan for anything, for that size of a project,” said Ormaza. Development of an apartment complex of any size is an expensive endeavor, since before physical construction can even begin, building permits and fees must be paid and obtained from the City of Elko. At Rabbit Brush Run, it costs close to a million dollars in these fees for each individual building, Ormaza said. “Without (Barrick) financing, we’d still be trying to get it going,” he added. Of the 16-building complex, with a total of 192-units, eight of the buildings are completed. Every unit in the completed buildings is filled, and Barrick is operating a waiting list for units.
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Almost immediately after a unit is completed, tenants move in. “The way we work it is Barrick decides who gets in first.Then,we run them through credit checks to make sure they’re eligible,” said Ormaza. “Once we find out they are, and the building opens, they get to move in.” Ormaza expects the final building in the complex to be completed by March of next year, with landscaping completed shortly afterwards. Though this is the first time Ormaza has collaborated with a mine to fund a housing project — his previous experiences with Barrick were limited to the mining field — he’d be willing to do it again. “It’s turned out to be a beautiful project,” said Ormaza. “We feel honored.”
Gold: Used for jewelry and hightech equipment such as satellites, medical scanners, televisions, computers and cell phones Copper: Used for piping, circuitry, high-tech equipment and more Lithium: Used in pharmaceuticals and efficient batteries in smart cars, cell phones and laptops Molybdenum: Used to make steel stronger, lighter, more rigid and less corrosive. For instance all stainless steel contains moly Diatomaceous Earth: Used for such products as food and beverage filters, pool filters, kitty litter and paint Gypsum: Used for things like acoustical tiles and wall board Lime: Used for stucco, asphalt and as a pH balancer to name some of the many applications Information compiled by Nevada Mining Association
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Mining offers highly skilled employment opportunities By TIM CROWLEY Nevada Mining Association
Nevada’s mining industry is growing. In terms of economic contribution as it relates to state gross domestic product, we’ve increased from 3.5 percent to nearly 6 percent of Nevada’s economy — a notable increase in the past few years. This growth has resulted in a wealth of employment opportunities, which has presented the industry with a curious issue. Despite the state’s high unemployment levels, mines are struggling to fill open positions quick enough. And we are talking about jobs paying the highest average salaries in the state at $83,000 per year in addition to benefits such as health insurance, incentive pay and scholarship opportunities for dependents. Compare that to the state average for all industries at $41,000 per year. This lower than expected interest in mining jobs may partially be attributed to a public misperception of what careers in our industry entail. There are other issues, too, such as keeping pace with attrition, limited
housing in mining communities, and the remoteness of the mines, but while solutions to those issues are in the works, a primary concern is correcting the inaccurate image of what it means to be a miner that has contributed to the difficulty in filling job openings. If a high school sophomore is asked whether they aspire to a career as a miner, they may quickly discard the idea, conjuring images of individuals swinging picks at hard rock. Tim Crowley However, when asked if a highly compensated career as an engineer, geologist, biologist, hydrologist, metallurgist, or chemist appeals, that same high school student may provide an entirely different answer, and all of those jobs are available in mining. Let’s not discount business service positions such as accountants or lawyers, either. Job openings also exist in essential technical positions, such as electricians, mechanics and machine operators,
working with multi-milliondollar, high-tech mining equipment and facilities. These are all professional opportunities that complete the mining industry and provide great lifestyles to thousands of Nevadans, yet mining organizations still have difficulty finding the skilled and technical service personnel they need. Coupled with an expanding industry is a shrinking of the current workforce. Much of the present employment pool is reaching retirement age. Mining’s challenge is to work with our colleges and universities to ensure they’re educating tomorrow’s industry professionals. We are doing this through efforts such as endowing professorships at the University of Nevada, Reno and funding the Electrical and Diesel Technology programs at Great Basin College. We can attract these graduates to the industry by detailing the opportunities for
fast upward mobility with an aging current workforce. For example, today’s mining engineer students are virtually guaranteed summer internships for their three college summers and are often offered attractive jobs long before graduation. The chances are great that they reach upper management within 10 years. It’s a good time to be in the industry. However, the challenges of sustaining a talented employment pool are vast. So, the next time someone dismisses a job opportunity in mining as simply handling a pick and shovel, first, let them know that modern miners operate some of the most technologically advanced machinery and processes in the world, and then, direct them toward the Nevada Mining Association. I’m proud to call myself a miner — even while sitting at my desk in Reno — and we at the NVMA are always happy to provide individuals with the wide variety of options for working in this great industry. ——— Tim Crowley serves as president of the Nevada Mining Association.
Nevada Mining Association meets for annual convention, awards By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO — This week the Nevada Mining Association hosts its annual conference at Lake Tahoe and gives out safety awards to its members. The keynote speaker Saturday is Ted McAleer, executive director of Utah’s USTAR Initiative. “He has helped different sectors of industries in Utah,” Nevada Mining Association President Tim Crowley said. “We will look at our assets and ask how do we develop our core assets. We’re trying to copy what they’ve done in Utah; to talk about how mining can grow.” The Saturday session will also include presentations from Amy Lueders of the Bureau of Land Management, who will discuss streamlining mine permitting, and Bob Budd will talk about Nevada’s plan for sage grouse habitat management. Budd was contracted to help facilitate the governor’s panel on sage grouse. The afternoon session will be the 34th annual state safety awards. The NVMA Safety Awards are given annually to both mine operators and individual mining employees in several categories, and data for the 2012 awards is based on performance in the 2011 calendar year. The data is taken
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First: Newmont Mining Corporation – Phoenix Mine Second: Newmont Mining Corporation – Twin Creeks & Sage Mill Third: Barrick Gold of North America – Goldstrike Mine, open pit Medium – 100-299 employees First (tie): Barrick Gold of North America – Goldstrike Mine, roaster First (tie): Barrick Gold of North America – Goldstrike from Mine Safety and Health Administration informa- Mine, autoclave/Mill tion. Second: Coeur D’Alene – Rochester Mine Operator awards are given to the top three mines in designated categories based on their safety rate, which is Small – 20- 99 employees calculated by a formula that factors number of First: Newmont Mining Corporation – Lone Tree employees on site, number of man hours for that year Mine and penalties for lost-time accidents, number of Second: Great Basin Gold – Esmeralda Mill reportable incidents and lost-time days. Individual awards are selected based on nominations only, and Underground Operations those nominations are judged on both the personal Large – 300+ employees safety record of the individual and that person’s involveFirst: Barrick Gold of North America – Turquoise ment in advocating safety in the workplace. Ridge Mine Second: Newmont Mining Corp. – Leeville Mine Mine Operators Safety Awards Third: Barrick Gold of North America – Goldstrike
Large – 300+ employees
See AWARDS, 8
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Awards ... Steve Veesart, Barrick Cortez
Continued from page 6 Mine, Meikle/Rodeo Medium – 100-299 employees First: Newmont Mining Corp.– Midas Mine Second: Barrick Gold of North America – Cortez Underground Third: Great Basin Gold – Hollister Mine Small – 20-99 employees First: Newmont Mining Corp. – Exodus Mine
Non-Metal Mining Category First (tie): Baker Hughes – Argenta Mine and Mill First (tie): Graymont Western – Pilot Peak Plant Second: EP Minerals – Colado Mine and Plant
Contractors Category First: J.S. Redpath – Nevada Operations Second: Ames Construction – Nevada Operations
Individual Safety Awards General Manager Randy Burggraff, Round Mountain Gold Corp.
Safety Manager Lance Steilman, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc.
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Safety Professional Tammy Harding, Goldcorp Inc. Jason Haynes, Newmont Mining Corp. Ashley Ott, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc.
Mine Manager/Superintendent Tige Brown, Newmont Mining Corp. Walt Holland, Newmont Mining Corp. Ian McMullen, Newmont Mining Corp.
General Supervisor/Middle Management Graden Colby, Newmont Mining Corp. Don Schumacher, Barrick Cortez Dale Thompson, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc.
Trainer Wendy Anderson, Coeur Rochester Ray Finley, Newmont Mining Corp. Jeromy McKinnon, Great Basin Gold
Supervisor Jason Edgar, Newmont Mining Corp. Eric Endy, Barrick Bald Mountain Ken Hutchings, Great Basin Gold Steve Kontny, Newmont Mining Corp. Rodney Sample, Goldcorp Inc.
Non-Supervisory Trainer Dale Hornickel, Barrick Bald Mountain Stephen McGowen, Round Mountain Gold Corp. Jeff Myers, Barrick Cortez
Non-Supervisory Emergency Response James Davis, Newmont Mining Corp. James Jensen, Newmont Mining Corp. Lonna Lupercio, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. Randy Miller, Newmont Mining Corp. Jeremy Rice, Barrick Bald Mountain Dan Vance, Barrick Cortez
Non-Supervisory Mike Abrams, Newmont Mining Corp. Ernesto Manzo, Newmont Mining Corp. Michael Peacher, Newmont Mining Corp. Doug Ruehl, Newmont Mining Corporation Todd Samuelson, Newmont Mining Corp. Duane Skelton, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. Scott Torrence, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. Special Awards: Darrel Gerstner, Outstanding Career in Safety Sandvik Mining and Construction, 5 Years Underground with No Lost Time
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MINExpo 2012 exhibit space almost sold out By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO — The International MINExpo will have a full house of exhibitors for its expected 40,000 attendees from around the world this month at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event will be in the North, Central and South Halls of the center and exhibitors also will be on the outdoor Silver Lot. “We do not have any indoor space remaining and have a limited amount of outdoor space remaining,” Moya Phelleps, senior vice president of member services for the National Mining Association, said in mid-August. She said this is the first time exhibits have been in the South Hall. The event, which NMA hosts every four years, will feature 855,000 square feet and 1,840 exhibitors form 38 countries including the United States, Phelleps said. “We have a 42 percent increase in space and exhibitors from 2008,” she said. About 25 percent of those attending the 2008 show were from outside the U.S. and Phelleps expects the same this year. In
August there were 27 delegations being formed by commercial service officers. “Prior shows have been known for major product announcements and the 2012 show should be the same,” Phelleps said. “Opportunity to talk with exhibit company personnel about operational issues and seek resolutions as well as the opportunity to discuss what operators would like to see in new products and equipment” are drawing people to the show. The opening ceremony is at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 24. Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki will be at the ribbon cutting. MINExpo is having an opening session for the first time from 10 - 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24, Phelleps said. Chief executives of four of the worlds’s biggest mining and mining equipment companies will discuss “the global supply chain for coal and minerals, where we have been and where we are going.” This session will feature CEOs Richard Adkerson of Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold; Gregory Boyce of Peabody Energy; Richard O’Brien of Newmont Mining Corp.; and Michael Sutherlin of Joy Global Inc. Sutherlin is also chair of
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MINExpo 2012. Noted author and international trade expert Jeffrey Garten of the Yale University School of Management will moderated the panel discussion in room S223 of the convention center.
Safety luncheon MINExpo will feature the Sentinels of Safety Luncheon from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Sept. 25, when the recipients of 2011 safety awards will be honored. The awards go each year to mining operations throughout the country that demonstrate exemplary safety records. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Office of Mine Safety and Health, also will present the first-ever “Technology Innovations in Mine Safety” award at the luncheon. The U.S. Department of Interior luncheon to present the Office of Surface Mining Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development awards is the following day. It will be from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Education sessions will be from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sept. 25 and 26. Phelleps said they will cover safety, underground and surface mining, coal, new mine development, processing, bulk materials handling, maintenance, solid waste, water, air, markets, exploration and automation. Attendees can earn professional development hours. Exhibits will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 24-26. Registration is $200 and includes the exhibits, opening sessions and the educational sessions. Badges must be picked up at registration. One may also register on site at the show. Full registration will be in the North and the South Halls of the show. NMA will be running a shuttle loop service between the North, Central and South Hall to make it easier for attendees to see all of the show. The online directory is on the MINExpo website. It will be up for a year after the show. Exhibitors may be searched by company name, product, country and word search. It also includes floor plans and the ability to locate exhibitors on the floor plan.
It can be good to revisit the past By THOMAS E. (TED) BOYCE, Ph.D.
possible, reducing exposure to hazards. Indeed, our BBS training continues to stress: “lead with the conversation, I recently received a gift that I follow with the documentation.” This cherish — two of my favorite albums’ process produces about a 50 percent covers framed beautifully for display reduction in injury rate each year and (yes, I said album, do you remember the typically eliminates lost-time accidents. vinyl 33&1/3 rpm records you used to play as a kid?). The gesture caused me to The most active ingredient is the voluntary conversations among employees wonder what I’ve been missing all these occurring with regular frequency in the years. So, I dusted off my old record player, hooked it up to my stereo and lis- field. When was the last time you had or tened to these two albums in their origheard a spontaneous coninal format. versation about safety in What an experience. the field that might have Characteristics of the prevented an injury or music lost on my iPod took alternatively reinforced safe me back years and work practices that will reminded me of what I had likely prevent injuries in the appreciated so much about future? If you answered “I this experience as a can’t remember,” it might younger man. be time to do the equivalent How is this relevant to of dusting off the old record mining? I have a relationplayer: Take a look at where ship with Nevada mining you’ve been and why you that dates back more than were there. Then ask: “How 10 years to when I was a can I get some of that full-time professor at back?” UNR. We pioneered the use To be clear, my comof Behavior-Based Safety pany’s products have in Nevada with many of the Thomas Boyce evolved to keep up with the organizations represented by the readers of Mining Quarterly. And, changing times, including a large psychology of management portfolio. although personnel may have changed, some of you continue to use our process However, one thing has remained constant: all of our work provides tools that and others have moved on to something promote conversations that often aren’t else altogether, despite the success you had without them. And, these conversaexperienced with BBS. tions promote behaviors that help an Thus, in my first article for Mining Quarterly, I wanted to remind the readers organization to be more successful. Indeed, listening to the old LPs of why pure, grassroots Behavior-Based reminded me that music never sounded Safety works and encourage you to remember why you elected to do it in the so good. And, when I’m on site working with my clients, the conversations that first place. Evolution and progress are our processes promote are also music to good things. However, they don’t mean my ears. Mining has been good to me you have to stop doing what worked for because miners care about one another, you so well in the past. as is often reflected in conversations Behavior-Based Safety is a process of about safety. Are you properly encourinvolving employees in their own safety aging the basic sounds of safety success by encouraging them to use a simple at your facility? form to observe and talk about safety—————— related behaviors in the field. Dr. Thomas E. (Ted) Boyce is a behavObservations are turned in without the ioral strategist and president and senior need to collect names and a team of hourly employees regularly reviews these consultant with the Center for Behavioral observations for trends that may be more Safety LLC. The Center is a Nevadasystemic. This analysis does not occur in based safety and leadership consulting the absence of immediate positive feed- firm that turns managers into leaders and helps companies create an injury-free back in the field for safe behaviors and workplace. Learn more at immediate correction of at-risk behaviors as part of the observation. Thus, we www.cbsafety.com or contact Dr. Boyce directly at email@example.com. are addressing things immediately if
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Scrapping domestic violence Area companies, mines donate proceeds from used steel By WHEELER COWPERTHWAITE Mining Quarterly
WINNEMUCCA — A new organization is trying to ease the problems of domestic violence in the community by scrapping them. Scrap Domestic Violence, a new nonprofit, aims to fill in the funding gaps for domestic violence organizations by both giving grants for local organizations and raising awareness in the community. Kristin Carriere, the owner and president of CarWil in Winnemucca and Elko, read the local domestic violence statistics. Carriere set up a meeting with JoAnn Casalez, who was running Winnemucca Domestic Violence Services. Carriere, who works with large mining companies and their large budgets, was awestruck by how small Winnemucca Domestic Violence Services’ budget was. “They helped so many families with a budget of $250,000,” Carriere said. “That small amount had such an impact.” Carriere’s company had a $10,000 check for recycled scrap metal coming and decided instead to have the money donated to the Winnemucca DVS. Carriere said she thought,if her company had this source of constant income from recycled steel, why can’t other
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companies donate the same? Those scrap steel proceeds could be a continual source of revenue for a nonprofit that would then funnel the money to other nonprofit domestic violence groups that may be hurting for funds. “Scrap steel, that’s already been expensed,” ScrapDV Executive Director JoAnn Casalez said. “They’ve already used the steel.” ScrapDV has applied for IRS tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3). Casalez said the organization hopes to have the status by the end of the year and registered with the state on Jan. 18. Boart Longyear has promised 50 percent of its scrap steel funds to ScrapDV and CarWil donates 100 percent of its proceeds. The Marigold Mine, owned two-thirds by Goldcorp Inc. and one-third by Barrick Gold Corp, donated a 100,000-pound excavator bucket, worth $10,000. “This is Nevadans stepping up, not the government,” Casalez said. Westward, ho! Casalez envisions the nonprofit expanding state by state based on the same scrap steel donation formula. “We want to have the same program in other states,” she said. “We don’t want state funds crossing state lines.”
Some of those attending the ceremonial first donations to ScrapDV gather in front of a donated bucket. The possible ScrapDV branch in California, Idaho or Mississippi would have a structure set out by ScrapDV, to help the new organizations get from point A to B, she said. ScrapDV would provide training to those setting up the organization in other states and help them set up a home office. Plans for expansion have been scrapped, or at least set aside, until ScrapDV is thriving in Nevada, she said. The new groups would have to show they have a funding source. “There needs to be a potential donor already set up,” Casalez said.
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Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
Kevin Kossol, manager of engineering, talks about the new tailings storage facility at YukonNevada’s Jerritt Canyon facility.
Improvements abound at Jerritt Canyon By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO — Improvement is the name of the game at Yukon-Nevada Gold Corp.’s Jerritt Canyon property. The company refurbished the fine crushing system and replaced the bucket elevator with two conveyors to move the ore at the mill, said Jerritt Canyon General Manager Guy Simpson. “The bucket elevator was poorly designed so we tore that out,” Simpson said. “We eliminated any bottleneck.” The bucket elevator was installed in January, but caused significant plant downtime because of persistent mechanical failure, he said. Since the installation of the conveyors in July, they have operated without a problem and allowed crushing to operate at more than 300 tons per hour, according to Yukon-Nevada. The mill is targeting 4,500 to 5,000 tons of ore per day through both roasters, Simpson said. The maximum amount before the change was 90 tons per roaster. “The difference between last week and this week is huge,” Control Room Operator Bruce Barnum said. “It is a lot smoother and efficient.”
“Our team at Jerritt Canyon did an excellent job removing the bucket elevator and installing the new conveyors in such a short period of time,” said YukonNevada’s Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer Randy Reichert. “This has allowed us to remain on track to meet planned production targets for 2012.” In July, 27,300 tons were mined at the SSX-Steer underground and the mine is on track to reach 1,200 tons per day in the third quarter, according to a YukonNevada report. Smith mining continued to produce at the planned rate of 1,200 tons per day in July, according to the company. The mill also struggled with dust accumulation. Due to baghouse problems, dust was emitted into the air and limited visibility to approximately 5 to 15 feet, according to a Mine Safety and Health Administration impact inspection report. Jerritt Canyon installed new duct work into the mill on June 26 that cleared the visibility and eliminated potential hazards. Simpson has been at Jerritt Canyon for almost two years. In that time, produc-
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Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
A brand new conveyor takes ore to a tertiary cone crusher at Jerritt Canyon.
Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
The new tailings storage facility in the process of being lined. It should be complete this month. Each roll of the liner is 23 feet wide and 400 feet long.
Jerritt ... Continued from page 14 tion was gradually moved to 20,000 ounces a month and the site has new underground equipment. The mine has three new Sandvik TH430 ejector trucks for backfill at SSX and a new Atlas Copco rock bolting machine. “The workforce has effectively doubled since I started here,” he said. Jerritt Canyon has 340 Queenstake employees and 100 contract employees. Jerritt Canyon is operated by Queenstake Resources, a subsidiary of Yukon-Nevada. Jerritt Canyon also has plans for a fourth mine, Saval 4, Simpson said. “It is reasonably close to the Steer-SSX complex,” he said. “The portal was started back in 2008, just before the operation was shut down. We plan to get the portal completed. It will provide us 40,000 ounces over 18 months, and we will mine it ourselves.” Tailings Storage The underground isn’t the only part of the mine with changes. A new tailings storage facility with a design capacity of 7 million tons was lined this year. The dirt work for the project began in July 2011 and was completed September of that year, said Kevin Kossol, manager of engineering for Jerritt Canyon. The liner work began at the end of December and should be complete by the middle of this month, Kossol said. “We’re trying to close the existing tailings storage facility,” he said. “We will cover it with 5 to 7 feet of dirt and then shape it.”
Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
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Kevin Kossol, manager of engineering, shows the thickness of the liner being installed on the new tailings storage facility at Yukon-Nevada’s Jerritt Canyon facility.
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Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
Willard Knight works in the fire assay lab at Jerritt Canyon.
Jerritt ... Continued from page 15 VT Construction was completing the pipeline for the new tailings area and International Lining Technologies had 38 people installing the liner, Simpson said. A 60-millimeter drain liner was installed and then an 80-millimeter primary liner was welded to it, Kossol said. The contractors averaged more than 200,000 square feet a day on the liner. When the installation is complete there will be 6.2 million square feet of liner, 3.1 million of each. The liners are rolled by hand or with a four-wheeler. Each roll of the liner is 23 feet wide and 400 feet long, Kossol said. The design life of the facility is five years and if the embankment is built up, it will last another five.
Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
The air inside the mill facility is much cleaner after a new filter system was installed at Jerritt Canyon.
The lab Jerritt Canyon’s laboratory also has been improved, said Laboratory Manager Rod Williams. “This is a 30-year-old lab and we put it back into operation,” he said. “We have 30 people in the lab doing 250 samples a day. It was pretty ratty in here three years ago.” The lab tests the content of the gold through a fire assay process and through a digestive process. “We use nitric and hydrochloric acid together to dissolve the gold into liquid,” Williams said. “The digestive process is probably more accurate. You don’t have any chance to lose the gold.” “We’ve got a really good group of people,” he said. Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
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The ball mill at Jerritt Canyon crushes 240 to 260 tons per hour.
Jerritt ... Continued from page 16 Starvation Canyon The next step in improvements is the addition of Starvation Canyon. YukonNevada broke ground for the new underground mine in early July. “All soil removal is pretty much completed,” Simpson said. Contractors will soon bid to do the underground mining for about six months, then the mine’s employees will do the work. “We have an excess of equipment, but we don’t have the people,” Simpson said. Before mining can begin in Starvation Canyon, the company will establish the face of the portal. “Starvation Canyon will be the first new mine here since 2004,” Simpson said. “We expect the face of the portal completion by early September, so we can get in there before winter. ... We expect a minimum of 600 tons per day.” Yukon-Nevada Earnings During the months of April and May, mechanical problems caused YukonNevada to face a financial loss of $8.3 million in the second quarter of 2012.
Repeated chain failures of a bucket elevator in the Jerritt Canyon milling operations resulted in approximately eight days of downtime in April and 10 days in May. Operations continued better than normal once the faulty elevator was replaced with two conventional conveyor belts by June 11. With the improved modifications, the mill consistently processed at least 4,000 tons a day. “Second quarter mining production was 28,151 tons higher than the first quarter of 2012,” according to a YukonNevada report. “June production for the Smith mine averaged 1,250 tons per day while the SSX-Steer mine averaged 705 tons per day, however the latter increased to almost 1,000 tons per day in the last half of June with the delivery of additional underground trucks.” The company had produced 154,893 tons by the end of this year’s second financial quarter. The deliveries in the second quarter averaged 1,127 tons a day, but Yukon-Nevada expects the productive trend to continue by reaching a target of 1,200 tons a day in the third quarter.
Part of the mill facility at Jerritt Canyon. Marianne Kobak McKown/ Elko Daily Free Press
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Cyanco works to expand operations Company trains mine employees on safety By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Free Press Mining Editor
ELKO — Safety and efficiency are the name of the game at Cyanco. The company has been in Winnemucca for more than 20 years and it is scheduled to finish a facility upgrade this year. In June, Cyanco gave a tour of its complex after a safety class on working with cyanide. Cyanco Engineering Technician Kevin Sauers has been with the company for 18 years. He said the expansion would be done in November or December. “We will manufacture more and faster,” Sauers said. Cyanide delivery is done by trucks and rail. Many of the trucks hold 6,500 gallons of product and there are smaller loads available that are taken to the mines, Sauers said. Each tanker has three valves so the product stays inside the container if the truck is involved in a crash during transport, he said. The rail tankers have a capacity of 21,000 gallons, Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
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Cyanco’s Kevin Sauers talks about the various piping that he helped engineer for the manufacturing of cyanide at its facility near Winnemucca.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
A tour group passes national flags representing countries that Cyanco services at its facility near Winnemucca.
Cyanco ... Continued from page 19 but because of the weight of the product the company can’t load quite that amount, Sauers said. “We fill 25 to 50 trucks and one to two rail cars a day,” he said. “The pipes have dripless fittings so we don’t have to worry about the product hitting the ground once they pull away.” The factory completed a retrofit to enable it to load additional trucks and train tankers. The company has been expanding the process since 2009. Each truck or rail tanker is weighed before and after it is filled to ensure the right amount of product reaches the customer. The company also has a lab on site to test samples. The lab runs samples on the tanks to verify what is being shipped out to customers. Besides the retrofit, the facility was in the process this summer of adding a new processor. The current processor does not require ear protection to work around it, but it is recommended. “We will see a dramatic change in the sound,” Sauers said. “The loudest noise we’ll have will be from the fans. We’re upsizing everything.” Why Winnemucca? In 1988, Cyanco, under the ownership of Mining Services International, decided to build a liquid sodium cyanide plant in Winnemucca, according to the company’s website. Before Cyanco, producers of the liquid product manufactured it closer to the raw materials. This meant the plants were usually thousands of miles from the gold mines. To save on transportation costs, the manufacturers would dry the liquid into a solid form and then, once it reached the mines, people on site would have to dissolve the product back into a useable liquid form, Cyanco’s website states. The mines also had to properly dispose of the drums or wooden boxes in which the cyanide was delivered. Cyanco decided to make the cyanide where the mines were located and bypass the drying stage. “The liquid product would then be transported in specially designed trailers directly to the customer in a ready-to-use form,” according to the company website. “The product is off-loaded directly into the customer’s tank by highly trained drivers, See CYANCO, 21
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packs and first response.” Faron Main said he will take what he learned in the class back to Newmont’s Emigrant Continued from page 20 Mine, where he has worked in health and safety for about a so that the customer never has to year. handle the product or dispose of any “We’ll do this stuff in our packaging.” annual refresher,” he said. Cyanco started producing liquid Even Richard Dyer, who has sodium cyanide in 1990, according to worked for Newmont for 21 the company website. The facility was years, said the class taught him designed to produce 28 million pounds new things about safety around annually. A second plant came online in cyanide. 1997. Today the two plants produce “I really enjoyed it,” he said. more than 100 million pounds annu“This was the first time I had ally. gone through the tour here. I’ve Cyanco now has operations in gone through the training on Winnemucca and Cadillac, Quebec, as site and I learned some new well as an office in Montreal, Quebec things from the class.” and its corporate office in Reno. He said he did not know Cyanco also maintains a laboratory before that there are two antifacility at Piscataway, N.J., for cyanide dotes for cyanide. He said the application and detoxification work by mines have to keep the antithe Applied Technology Group. dotes on site and send it with Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly any patients in the ambulance All about safety because the hospitals don’t Besides the upgrades to the plant, Cyanco process control room operator Josh Yost receives a radio call at its facility near Winnemucca. have a supply. Cyanco gave a safety class June 28 to summer at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Midas Mine. Dyer is the operations specialist for Mill 5 in Carlin more than 60 people who work with or around cyanide. Hansen is earning her degree in metallurgical engiWhether people were new to the mining industry or neering at the University of Utah and she works in the and works with cyanide every day. He inspects the halfmile of pipes monthly at the mill. veterans, they said the class taught them something lab. “This was a good refresher for us, and I can pass it they would take back and teach others. “I didn’t get as much training there,” she said. “The “It was good,” said Lauryn Hansen, an intern for the class was very informative. I didn’t know about Cyanco along to everyone else at the site,” he said.
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Meyvn adds creativity to mining training By JOHN RASCHE Mining Quarterly
ELKO — On July 24, a new land mining record for tonnage was set at the Sishen Mine in South Africa. The C crew of the Anglo American company stationed in the city of Kathu mined 300,000 tons of ore in one 12-hour shift. How does such an achievement from across the world tie in with northeastern Nevada? The miners in the C crew were trained by a newly established Elko company called Meyvn Consulting Ltd. Meyvn began as a concept a year and a half ago, but only opened its doors in February of this year. “We saw many examples of people going to the mine who said that they were prepared for work, but they weren’t,” Director of Learning and Development Ellis Ritz said. “Because we are from mining backgrounds, we understand miners and we base our training for their needs.”
Aspiring Beginnings “Meyvn” began as a Yiddish word meaning “one who understands.” Today, the word is better recognized as “maven.” Business partners Steven Cohen, Frank Dudley and Ellis Ritz came across this word in a book called “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. In his book, Gladwell identifies the three types of people needed to start a trend: connectors, salespeople and mavens. The latter type Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly is considered the most important by Gladwell because mavens have Becki Urie, training supervisor for Meyvn, chooses a category for questions in the form of a popular game the ability to speak honestly and show during an MSHA protocol training at the Meyvn office in Elko. answer correctly. All three partners currently work for these workshops revolve around training training consists of one person lecturing Barrick, with more than 70 years of required by the Mining Safety and Health for eight hours with PowerPoint slides and really boring videos from the ’70s and mining experience between them. Administration. ’80s,” Director of Operations Steven Together, they developed unorthodox A New Way to Train training methods that help to promote “The traditional technique for MSHA safety while still being enjoyable. Many of See MEYVN, 23
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Meyvn ... Continued from page 22 Cohen said. “People leave the training tired and with very little knowledge.” Research has shown that trainees retain only 5 percent of the content when they are lectured, Cohen says. This percentage derives from the Learning Pyramid created by the National Training Laboratories, a source that Meyvn Consulting used to create its own training methods. Meyvn breaks away from the uninspired aspect of training sessions and instills a more creative and interactive approach based off several adult learning theories. Many activities incorporated into the meeting are uniquely designed for all three types of learners: visual, auditory and kinesthetic — those who learn by doing. Trainees are more likely to retain 50 to 75 percent of the content when discussion groups and active participation are incorporated into the meeting, according to the Learning Pyramid. One such activity requires two people to sit back-toback. A participant is given a basic picture and must describe it to the second person, who then attempts to recreate the image on another piece of paper. “This activity reinforces the fact that if you don’t communicate effectively, you will get things wrong,” Cohen said. “They learn through their own interaction.” Playing golf in the dark is another example of Meyvn’s approach to MSHA training. The lights are
turned off and the trainees are given golf clubs in the dark and asked to try and hit a ball into a hole placed on the floor. After each failed attempt, the participants are given tools such as headlamps and reflectors that slowly help to illuminate the room. “The lesson really proves the effectiveness of those tools in the dark,” Cohen said. “Things can change at night, but you don’t know it because you can’t see it.” Stressing Safety Mevyn offers many other training aside from MSHA. The company provides lessons that range from supervisor advancement to successful business meetings to equipment task training with electric rope shovels, track dozers and much more. “We cover anything that has to do with mining,” Cohen said. “Although we are based in Elko, we can go all over the world as long as there is a classroom.” Despite the fun atmosphere of Meyvn’s learning environment, stressing safety is the company’s main goal. A new MSHA safety policy entitled “Rules to Live By” was issued in 2010 after a report stated 589 coal and surface miners died between 2000 and 2008 due to violated standards, root causes and abatement practices. “We want our training to prevent deaths like those,” Ellis Ritz said. “Killing 589 people is not acceptable. We want our lessons to be remembered and practiced.
Miners should come home the same way that they had left — in good condition.” Age Matters Meyvn Consulting also seeks to bridge the generation gap within the mining industry. While working with miners, the Meyvn partners realized that different age groups require different learning styles. “The newer generation of workers does not learn the same way that the older miners do, but it takes training from the experienced workers to get the newer ones up to speed,” Cohen said. Tool Box Lessons In addition to offering lessons at the company’s office and teaching abroad, Meyvn now sells a product designed to help mining supervisors with their mandated weekly MSHA meetings. The Tool Box lesson kit is a series of lesson plans (104 in total) that address MSHA requirements and standards in an interactive approach. The tool box allows supervisors to cut out wasted time researching the lessons while still capturing the attention of their work crews. The plans are offered in one-year or two-year books, but buyers can also create their own Tool Box kit with specific topics and lessons. Meyvn expects to sell $1 million worth of the kits by See MEYVN, 24
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Meyvn ... Continued from page 23 next year, said Steven Cohen. The company will also be selling them at their International MINExpo booth in Las Vegas this month.
Becki Urie, training supervisor for Meyvn, asks questions in the form of a popular game show during an MSHA protocol training at the Meyvn office in Elko.
Looking Forward The company’s business ventures seem to be placed all over the map, but they have all worked out exceedingly well. Meyvn has collected 22 clients since February and more than half of them are very large companies, including Anglo American and Joy Global. The company’s staff is composed of five full-time consultants, three interns and one administrator. With the rising success that Meyvn has had, however, there are plans to hire several more people by the end of the year. “We are going to grow this business into something special in a very short amount of time,” Cohen said. “By 2013, we can foresee a majority of our business being international.” Meyvn Consulting Ltd. is located at 465 Fourth Street in Elko. More information can be found at www.meyvnconsultingltd.com or on its Facebook page.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
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Mining starts at Emigrant By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
CARLIN — Operations at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Emigrant Mine are up and running. “We broke ground in April 2011 and it has been constant activity since then,” said Emigrant Project Manager Rocky Pray. In July, Pray said he expected commercial operation by the end of August. Newmont had 95 employees on site in July and will increase to 120. There were 75 contractors on site. By 2013, Pray expects to sustain the Newmont staffing levels at 145. The new wash bay for the site was 75 percent complete in July and the concrete slab was being poured. On July 26, Elko County issued building permits for the remodel of the mine’s CIC plant and new accessory structure. Emigrant is south of Carlin and near the Rain Mine, which was in closure in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Emigrant is a low-grade ore deposit that will be mined in multiple nearsurface pits. Pray said the mine will have eight to nine pits and they are all named in phases. “We are active in Phase 1, 2 and 3,” Pray said. A wall has been established in Phase 1 and the elevation of 6,300 feet will decrease to 6,100, he said. The dense juniper will stay at the top of the hill, right above the Phase 1 and 2 areas. Employees are using an EX2500 Hitashi shovel, 993K model Caterpillar loader and a fleet of haul trucks, which include six 785 and 789 Caterpillars. The 785 haul trucks carry 150 tons and the 789 are 200-ton trucks. Personnel also have support from two production drills from Atlas-Copco Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
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Morgan Gurr, Newmont Mining Corp. equipment operator at Emigrant Mine, points toward Phase 1 and 2.
a small mine it has a decent mine life.” The first 80 acres of leach pad received approval to stack ore the end of February and Newmont worked on the next 70 acres in July and August. The first ore delivery was the first week of April. The ore comes directly from the pit to the leach pad and then is hauled to Gold Quarry for refinement, Pray said.
Emigrant ... Continued from page 26 and two D10 Caterpillars, two 16M Caterpillar motorgraders and various utility pieces of equipment. Pray said part of the fleet came from Carlin and some will come from Lone Tree. The deepest pit will be 283 feet. The pits will develop sequentially so as mining moves to the next pit, the previous pit will be filled in, Pray said. “When you can do sequential pits with concurrent reclamation it can be more efficient,” he said. “It is almost a mine and reclamation plan instead of just a mine plan.” The waste dump has a three-year life, “which is short,” Pray said. “We took the native hill and dump on either side so when we reclaim it, it still looks like a hill.” Pray said the life of the mine is 10 to 12 years and with processing time the life of the project is 16 to 18 years. The leach pad will hold 10 to 11 million tons of ore annually and the life of the pad can handle 100 million tons for the life of the mine. “We’re seeing size and fragmentation that is very positive for gold recovery,”
Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
A loader dumps ore into a haul truck in Phase 1 of Emigrant Mine. Pray said. Emigrant is expected to produce about 80,000 ounces of gold a year by 2013 when it is at sustained production, Pray said.
“The leach pad is pretty extensive,” he said. It is 300 acres and we can use it for the total life of mine. It was started in 2011 we will finish the last phase in 2015. The last mining will be 2021 or 2022. For
Newmont second-quarter earnings Newmont Mining Corp. reported a 28 percent plunge in its net income because of slightly lower production and higher operating costs. Net income decreased to $279 million, or 56 cents per share, compared with $387 million in the second quarter of 2011. The adjusted net income was $294 million, or 59 cents per share, compared with $445 million, or 90 cents per share for the second quarter in the previous year. The second quarter ended June 30. “Globally, our portfolio continues to perform in line with our budget,” Newmont Chief Executive Officer Richard O’Brien said. “As expected, our second quarter gold production was impacted by annual planned mill maintenance in Nevada and lower gold and See EMIGRANT, 28
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Emigrant ... Continued from page 27 copper production from Batu Hijau in Indonesia, as we continue with the planned stripping of Phase 6. “Our capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $300 million lower than originally planned for the year, largely as a result of our slower development timetable at Conga in Peru. We also expect our advanced projects, exploration and G&A expenditures to collectively be approximately $100 million lower this year. As we continue to optimize and refine our plans, we expect to deliver further efficiencies and cost savings for 2013 and beyond.” When examining the attributable net income from continuing operations, the company was down 47 percent in the second quarter. The attributable net income from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2011 was $523 million. This figure reflects the impacts from an entity that the company no longer owns, according to the company’s quarterly financial filing. “We consider this to be an important metric for investors to consider when evaluating our results, because it is the net income from ongoing operations that are expected to continue,” Diane Reberger, Newmont director of public relations and corporate communications said. The discontinued operations include Holloway Mining Co., which owned the Holt-McDermott property and was sold to St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd. in 2006. In 2009, the Superior Court issued a decision finding Newmont Canada Corp. liable Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press
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A haul truck takes ore from Phase 1 at Emigrant Mine. The dense juniper in the background will remain on the hill.
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Emigrant ... Continued from page 28 for a sliding scale royalty on production from the Holt property, which was upheld in 2011 by the Ontario Court of Appeal. During the first half of 2012, the company recorded an additional $71 million charge, net of tax benefits of $4 million, to reflect an increase in future expected production at the Holt property due to new reserve and resource estimates published by St. Andrew and a higher gold price. Net operating cash used in discontinued operations of $8 million in the first half of 2012 relates to payments on the Holt property royalty, Reberger said. Newmont is narrowing its previously announced 2012 outlook for attributable gold production to 5.0 to 5.1 million ounces (from 5.0 to 5.2 million ounces), and narrowing its outlook on attributable copper production to 145 to 165 million pounds (from 150 to 170 million pounds). The lower attributable gold production outlook is due to lower tons mined at Tanami. The company is maintaining its original outlook for gold and copper costs applicable to sale of between $625 and $675 per ounce (on a co-product basis) and $1.80 and $2.20 per pound, Marianne Kobak McKown/Elko Daily Free Press respectively. Contractors work on pipes leading near the leach pad. The leach pad is covered by reddish ore. Nevada Operations Attributable gold production in Nevada was 378,000 ounces at costs applicable to sale of $718 per ounce during the second quarter. Gold production increased 6 percent from the prior year quarter due to higher throughput at Mill 6, partially offset by lower grade at Midas and Phoenix.
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CAS per ounce increased 13 percent due to higher underground mining costs, higher royalties and lower by-product credits. The company is narrowing its outlook for 2012 attributable gold production from Nevada to 1.730 to 1.775 million ounces, and continues to expect CAS of between $575 and $625 per ounce.
Micromine: Linking underground operations with surface dispatch By JOHN RASCHE Mining Quarterly
ELKO — Imagine a technology that would allow dispatchers to communicate with their mining truck operators silently, without radio transmission. Imagine a technology that could alert an entire mine operation of an emergency and then direct the working crews to proper escape routes. Now, imagine no further. Micromine’s Pitram 3/Mobile software offers the progressive technology that enables mining companies to operate more productively, efficiently and seamlessly. Micromine is an international company that offers intuitive mining solutions to more than 12,000 clients in over 90 countries, according to the organization’s website. The company manages 18 offices located in major mineral producing capitals across the globe, and Elko is host to one of them. Josh Carroll and Mike Hiles have been Micromine’s Elko representatives and system specialists for the past four years. Their product, Pitram 3/Mobile, is used by Barrick’s underground mines Rodeo and Meikle as well as Newmont’s underground Leeville and Midas mines. The process of installing the Pitram software and instructing mining crews on how to use it takes approximately two months, but the program’s benefit is worth the wait, Carroll said. Pitram 3/Mobile was designed to address the three challenges all mining managements face: reporting updates, controlling safety, and planning for the future. “Our software grabs different files (from multiple sources) and merges them all together,” Lori Freemire said, marketing executive for Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
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Mike Hiles, Pitram System Specialist for Micromine, shows an example of a device for use in the mining industry.
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Micromine ... Continued from page 31 Micromine USA. “We have the programs and technology to say, ‘this is where the best place to mine is and this is how to do it.’ Pitram is the most widely used program for underground mining worldwide.” Pitram utilizes wireless Internet to archive various data in the organization’s main server. The data ranges from the tracking numbers of material flow to the availability of equipment to the real-time movement of GPS-monitored mining trucks. “Pitram is a more accurate source for data than Excel sheets or word-of-mouth communication,” Carroll said. “Supervisors can make better decisions based on the data stored in our program.” The “Mobile” function of the Pitram software is an application that synchronizes PC tablets with mobile equipment, such as trucks, rigs and loaders. These tablets can record tonnage, map routes and find equipment. Underground miners can communicate with their dispatchers and supervisors on the surface by using the Pitram tablet installed on their mobile equipment. Each employee and mobile equipment item is attached with a Radio-Frequency Identification tag, which can be monitored on the system. There have been a few skeptical workers who believe this new program to be an example of Big Brother patrolling people’s whereabouts, Carroll said, but the system is designed to ensure safety as well as production.
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“With Pitram, you know where equipment is and where people are. Knowing that automatically makes the mines safer.” Josh Carroll Micromine representative If an escape route is closed due to rockfall or some other risk, the Pitram tablets alert the workers of its closure and suggests an alternative route or refuge chamber nearby. In a similar scenario, if an employee is scheduled to a certain job location and does not return by an assigned time, the Pitram notifies others that the individual could be hurt or in danger. “With Pitram, you know where equipment is and where people are. Knowing that automatically makes the mines safer,” Carroll said. Based off the data stored through the Pitram 3/Mobile program, workers can check the availability and utilization of equipment. If a tool breaks down, analyzing the program’s data could result in
finding the cause. “This gives them an overall idea of what their mine is doing and how to manage it effectively,” Carroll said. “The program gathers the data to see if (operations) are following the plan or deviating away from it. They can track their progress in real-time and quantify the difference.” The software program is not limited to underground mining. The Pitram system can be integrated to fit all types of mining industries within any part of the world. “Our software can work with any kind of mining,” Carroll said. “The type of mine does not prohibit our ability to install the program.” Pitram 3/Mobile is currently being used by companies mining coal, diamond, uranium and gold all across the world. Although the program can be used for a variety of mining conditions, each system is uniquely designed for every mining operation. “Each project is very dynamic and one onto itself,” Lori Freemire said. “Each program is a stand alone and different due to varying mine factors.” Once the Pitram programs have been installed and utilized, Hiles and Carroll provide technical assistance from their Elko office. No sales occur in the office, but the two system specialists can provide demonstrations as to how the technology works. For information about Micromine and the services it provides, call the Elko office at 777-1330 or visit the company’s website: www.micromine.com.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine Environmental Specialist Chelsea Anderson talks about the rock pilings (in the background) that act as raptor perches on the reclaimed area of the east dump.
Modern mining is all about the environment By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
ELKO — From a mine’s birth to its death, there are environmental scientists. These are the people who help determine how the project will affect the area’s water, air quality and wildlife. They have to deal with numerous government agencies and have to worry about everything from archeological sites to how dust will affect the neighbors. “When I think about mining it starts with environmental and ends with environmental,” said Zach Spencer of General Moly. “That’s modern mining. It’s all about environmental compliance.” One of these environmental scientists is Pat Rogers. He is the director of environmental and permitting for General Moly. Right now his main focus is the company’s Mt. Hope project in Eureka, but he is also responsible for permitting at the company’s Liberty project. “Hope will be our flagship,” he said. “Our environmental responsibility includes compliance. It’s a team effort to ensure compliance and manage reporting. It will definitely increase when we get going.” The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued Mt. Hope’s draft environmental impact statement in December and the company is anticipating the record of decision will be released before the end of the year. Rogers said the environmental side of mining spans from exploration to development to closure. He has quite a bit of experience with this since he has worked in the mining industry
Pat Rogers, director of environmental and permitting for General Moly’s Mt. Hope project, describes how the monitoring wells work on the proposed molybdenum mine.
Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
See ENVIRONMENT, 35
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The view from 8,000 feet on Mt. Hope. In the distance is the historic Pony Express Trail.
Environment ... Continued from page 34 since 1985. He is a geologist by education. He earned his master’s in geology from the University of Idaho and has worked in Nevada mines almost his entire career. Rogers has worked at several mines in Nevada, including Jerritt Canyon (when it was owned by Freeport), Newmont Mining Corp.’s Carlin Trend and the eastern side of Newmont’s Phoenix mine. He also worked for JBR environmental consulting. He started with General Moly in January 2007. He started working in the environmental side of mining while employed at Jerritt Canyon. “I just like the outdoors,” Rogers said about why he chose geology. “It’s an interesting science. “Geology is a very broad science; environmental also. It’s a very interesting and challenging field.” When asked why he got involved with environmental science, he said “it just sort of happened.” “I made the transition at Jerritt Canyon from open pit surveying to the environmental side. I like the opportunity to make broader use of my education. In environmental, I get to do more of the day to day workings at the mine.” For people wanting to be involved with the environmental side of mining, Rogers said they need a degree, but also knowledge of mines. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
See ENVIRONMENT, 36 These historic structures still stand on Barrick’s Ruby Hill property. They were built by Thayer Lindsey in the 1940s.
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Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
Diamond Valley is seen in the distance from the view near the top of Mt. Hope.
Environment ... Continued from page 35 “Most of the colleges offer environmental degrees now, but I also think if you have experience with the operations of the mine you’ll be better off, Rogers said. “Environmental needs that practical side to it. We’re focusing on the environmental team to know the business and constraints of mining. There are many examples of mining operations getting permitting that is almost impossible to comply with, so you have to meet all the environmental concerns and how the mine will actually work.” Working with others, protecting historic sites One of the main environmental issues Rogers had to handle was Mt. Hope’s 3-M plan. This document is a mitigation plan to handle the possible water losses in the Diamond and Kobeh valleys due to the mine’s water use. Mt. Hope has 130 to 140 monitoring sites including wells, springs and streams that collect data on water levels. See ENVIRONMENT, 38
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Environment ... Continued from page 36 “I had a very good sense of the monitoring data and worked to refine it with the agencies and all the stakeholders,” Rogers said. He also has to work with various government agencies on a routine basis. These include the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, and Nevada Department of Wildlife. He also less frequently deals with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “The mining industry is very progressive in embracing what is good for the environment and we deal with the county on a routine basis — that has more to do with being a good neighbor.” Another big environmental issue Rogers and others in his field have to deal with are cultural sites on mine property. These can range from American Indian archeological areas to historic mine sites. The Mt. Hope property has old underground lead and zinc mines from the 1800s, the Pony Express Trail, Eureka-Palisade Railroad and carbonari sites. Carbonari was an industry from the late 19th century, Rogers said. People would manufacture charcoal and deliver it to the early mining smelters. They would cut down trees, light them on fire and bury them to let them burn underground. This process Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly would produce charcoal. Melanie Lawson, community relations specialist at Barrick Gold of North America, looks at new bat gate on Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine sites. Rogers said some of the sites would have archeologists brought in to collect items, but others, like the Pony Express Trail or railroad, would have to be documented with photos. Archeological sites are also an issue for mines once they are up and running, said Chelsea Anderson, an environmental specialist at Barrick Gold of North America’s Ruby Hill Mine. Anderson earned her associates degree in science from Great Basin College in 2009 and is working toward an environmental economics and policy degree from Oregon State. She worked for Jerritt Canyon before Barrick. “Can dumps are some of the hardest things to clear,” Anderson said. To the untrained eye, a can dump looks like a rusted pile of garbage, but to an archeologist it is a way to determine what types of food or products miners were using in decades past. “If it’s over 50 years old, it is automatically protected,” Anderson said. “Archeologists then have to determine if it’s culturally sigMarianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
An underground mine entrance from the 1800s is still visible on See ENVIRONMENT, 40 the Mt. Hope property.
A deer looks across Barrick’s Ruby Hill mine site. The Archimedes pit is in the background.
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Environment ... Continued from page 38 nificant before we can clear the drill site.” Protecting the environment doesn’t end once mining begins Ruby Hill is in the process of expanding by starting the Bullwhacker pit. When a mine expands, the area must be cleared by archeologists, and biological surveys must be completed before drilling can begin. At Ruby Hill the biological survey looks for raptors and pygmy rabbits, Anderson said. They also look for bats. The Ruby Hill area has been mined for decades, and bats like to move into old mine shafts. To determine if bats need to be moved, Anderson and her crew has to monitor the old shafts. “Four of us had a bat expert on site,” she said. “We set up four stations, two of us had sound recorders and night vision goggles. We set up camp and clicked every time we saw two different kinds of bats. I saw 46 bats. We were here two different nights and stayed for 4 hours each night.” Once it is determined the bats need to be moved, mine employees will set up
mist nets that allow the animals to fly out of the shaft, but do not allow them back inside. The process is done over a period of three days and will probably start next summer. Another site Anderson deals with is the TL shaft, which is named after Thayer Lindsley, a geologist from Canada who ran a mine on the property in the 1940s. It was a lead and silver mine. Some of the buildings and the old shaft are still on Ruby Hill property. Some of the other historic sites on the property date back to the 1800s. Anderson also has day to day duties. She handles the mine’s environmental management system, which has 16 elements and encompasses everything from legal work to training to incident response. She is actively involved in environmental training and has to make sure legal permit requirements are taken care of on a regular basis. The mine also deals with air quality on a daily basis. To lessen the amount of dust from dirt roads, Ruby Hill sprays the road’s surface with lignin sulfonate instead of magnesium chloride. “The lignin binds to the road like
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sugar, “ Anderson said. “It is more environmentally friendly than the magnesium chloride, and we don’t have to use as much water on the road because it lasts longer.” “We started using lignin in 2010,” she said. “After we started using lignin we went from 10 dust complaints a year to zero.” The mine also sprays dust suppressant over the high wall to suppress dust from the pit, said Steve Yopps, general manager for Ruby Hill. This is done twice a year. “It’s a pretty robust product,” Yopps said. “We do that on the pit because we’re so close to town. “You only go 500 yards as the crow flies and hit the first house.” The mine also has to clean the area’s water. “We have to dewater like other mines,” said Clark Burton, Ruby Hill environmental superintendent. “We treat and enhance the water for arsenic. We are putting the water back into ground cleaner than when we pull it out.” Burton said the arsenic naturally occurs in the area. The mine tests the
water on a weekly basis, and converted part of the plant into an arsenic treatment plant. The arsenic in the water is down to 1 part per billion. The daily operation of a mine also takes into account the wildlife in the area. Many mines put bird balls over ponds so animals can’t land in the acid solutions. Ruby Hill has installed guzzlers for animals to drink from and has set up artificial nests for raptors. The mine has six nests and most are used by hawks. The site also has nets and fencing set up as protection measures for animals, although this doesn’t mean animals are never seen on the mine property. Everything from deer to wild horses to eagles are seen wandering the various mining properties. Returning the land to nature When a mine starts to reclaim the land, the environment is once again a part of the conversation. Ruby Hill is performing some concurrent reclamation on the property. The See ENVIRONMENT, 47
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Enviroscientists Inc. works to help mines By HEATHER KENNISON Mining Quarterly
Enviroscientists also specializes in permitting strategies and compliELKO — While protecting the ance testing. “We understand environment is a key concern for environmentalists, it doesn’t neces- mining,” Downer said. sarily mean that they want to elimi- “We try and look at the nate mining. companies as a whole In fact, just the opposite is true process, not a snapshot for Enviroscientists Inc., a property in time.” development and permit acquisition Enviroscientists assist firm with offices in Elko and Reno. mines in complying with “We opened an office here to help federal and state regulathe mines,” said Enviroscientists tions while helping them Northern Nevada Regional Manager find the permitting Lucy Downer. strategy that works best. The firm assists with air, water Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly These processes can take and archaeological readings, among three to five years, said Katie Kasten, a compliance specialist for Enviroscientists Inc., smiles as she talks about her job near Firecreek not far others. from Klondex Firecreek Mine. Enviroscientists “With the exception of cultural President Richard Permit documentation must be “We try and look at the companies as resources, we do it all in-house,” DeLong. clearly written in order to let mines said hydrogeologist Barry Myers. “One of the strengths of the coma whole process, not a snapshot in time.” Cultural resources include historic pany is permitting strategies — what achieve their goals, he said. Federal Lucy Downer buildings and historic Native is the best way to get the permits for Enviroscientists Northern Nevada Regional Manager American dwellings. S C I E N T I S T S , See 44 your project,” DeLong said.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Katie Kasten, a compliance specialist for Enviroscientists Inc., logs water sample results in the Klondex Firecreek Mine.
Scientists ... Continued from page 42 and state permits range from protection of air and water to plants and animals. In addition to fulfilling these requirements, mines have the option of setting internal requirements as well. For example, the Mount Hope project included 30 environmental protection measures built into its application strategy, Downer said. This aided the company in getting through the permit process faster. Permits may be denied if standards are not met or land use is not compatible, the latter not having been a past issue in most of Nevada, Myers said. Expanding services Enviroscientists opened its Elko office in 2003 and now serves between 50-75 clients in this office. The main branch in Reno was founded in 2000. â€œThe philosophy of the company was to provide permitting and compliance services to the mining See SCIENTISTS, 46
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Katie Kasten, a compliance spe cialist for Enviroscientists Inc., collects a water sample in Firecreek near Klondex Firecreek Mine. Ross Andreson/ Mining Quarterly
Scientists ... Continued from page 46 industry that were the most comprehensive and the best service to our clients,” DeLong said. The small company has grown from two to 22 employees in both offices since it was started. Most of its growth has been within the past couple years, Downer said. With 16 employees in Elko, each has the opportunity to work on select projects. “We all have projects that are very close to our hearts,” Downer said. “We interact with people.” Enviroscientists has been working
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with Klondex Mines’ Fire Creek for about 10 years, DeLong said. The company has helped the mine plan how to permit the project with flexibility while still complying with the BLM and state requirements, he said. The company goes out to Fire Creek to do various field measurements, including the temperature, conductivity and hardness of water. “Typically, water is one of the biggest issues companies are worried about,” Myers said. Enviroscientists also has contracts with companies in Arizona, Idaho, California and other parts of Nevada. Fighting misperceptions See SCIENTISTS, 47
Scientists Continued from page 46 Downer said one thing the company hopes to combat is the perception that environmentally friendly companies such as Enviroscientists are out there to kill mining. “I think that perception is outdated,” Downer said. “We believe in mining. We’re here to help the mines comply with regulations.” Myers said there is a balance between mining and being environmentally friendly. Each of the employees at Enviroscientists has a background working with the mines, including former mine employees. Downer also reminds people that all kinds of activities have an impact on the environment, not just mining. Enviroscientists is located at 835 Railroad St. For information, call 753-9496 or visit www.enviroincus.com.
Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine Environmental Specialist Chelsea Anderson looks at new growth on a bush in a reclaimed area of the mine site. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Environment Continued from page 40 east dump has been through three years of reclamation. It was reclaimed in 2009, Anderson said. A BLM seed mix was spread on the area and shrubs were planted. The hill has thistle, tall white top, rye, sagebrush and bitterbrush. Anderson said goats grazed on the hill to disperse the seeds and fertilize the ground. Rock piles also were placed on the hill to act as perches for raptors. There are several types in the area, including red-tail and sharpshinned hawks and burrowing owls. “The rocks also create additional habitat for the animals that the birds actually eat, as well as acting as a perch,” Anderson said. Burton said Barrick is very committed to the environment, but his words can apply to the entire industry and why it has environmental scientists. “We have a commitment to the prevention of pollution and to improve the developed environmental management system,” he said. “Everybody is responsible to prevent pollution. Everybody needs to be involved for us to be successful.”
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Dylan Woolf Harris/Mining Quarterly
RAM Enterprises President Tim Horn walks through the company’s new West Main Street headquarters.
RAM Enterprises builds new headquarters in Elko By DYLAN WOOLF HARRIS Mining Quarterly
ELKO — As a company that made a name for itself specializing in conveyer belts, RAM Enterprises has changed a bit in its 21 years. “A lot of people still think of us as the conveyer belt people — and we are,” said RAM Enterprises President Tim Horn. However, he said, the company has expanded its services and operations and now conveyer belt work is the smallest component in terms of revenue. RAM Enterprises, founded in Portland, Ore., would purchase worn conveyer belts from mines, refurbish the equipment, and then re-sell to industries moving lighter material, such as sand or gravel. Business really boomed after the company reached Nevada. “Primarily all of the growth happened in Nevada,” Horn said “This is where it’s at.” Since those days, RAM Enterprises has expanded into other states — Arizona and Utah — and other areas of expertise, specializing in fixed process equipment. “We’re not the guys who work on the shovels or the haul trucks or the dozers. We’re the guys who work on the crushers and the mills and the conveyers,” Horn said. “And, we think of the company broken into small operations.” For example, conveyer belt and component sales is one operation RAM Enterprises provides to its clients. The company offers a handful of products that complement the services it provides. “All of the products we sell are products we put our hands on,” Horn said. Separate from sales, RAM Enterprises also has a conveyer belt installation and vulcanization service department. RAM Enterprises also offers process maintenance. “We go out and work on the drives and the barring and pumps and fans and mills,” Horn said. See RAM, 49
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RAM ... Continued from page 48 A separate department, which specializes in rubber line pipe and lag pulley work, does coding and linings. Industrial construction is another service RAM Enterprises provides. “We have a full construction team with all the necessary licenses,” Horn said. RAM Enterprises has recently done large piping projects, as well as truck-stop wash bay construction with mines in the area. The company has not only expanded operations, but also its employee base. “We went from 150 to 185 employees just this year. And we’re still hiring,” Horn said. He said RAM Enterprises is a career company. “We’re mostly looking for skilled people. Those are very difficult to find,” he said. RAM Enterprises’ new West Main Street office building might best epitomize the company’s growth. The company did most of its own construction on the 46,000 square-foot building. The new facility will house its Nevada service center and its corporate headquarters. All along, through changes in location and expansions of services, RAM Enterprises has been consistent in its approach to business: safety, quality and people. “Our safety record is very, very good. We stay under the national average in terms of incidents and accidents,” he said. “All of these mines have certain criteria you have to meet from a safety stand point or they won’t even allow them. Safety is our
Dylan Woolf Harris/Mining Quarterly
RAM Enterprises President Tim Horn stands in the company’s new 39,000 square-foot shop about a week before the new Elko facility opened.
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Royal Gold stocks grow in 2012 ELKO — Royal Gold Inc. shared good news for the company’s stockholders in August. Royal Gold is a precious metals royalty company that owns interests in 193 properties on six continents, including 39 producing mines and 26 development-stage projects. Barrick’s Cortez and Newmont’s Leeville are both mining properties in which Royal Gold owns interest. In the latest report summarizing the end of the 2012 fiscal year, the company announced a record net income of $92.5 million attributable to Royal Gold stockholders on a record royalty revenue of $263.1 million. These results are an improvement from last year’s fiscal findings with net income of $71.4 million for the stockholders and a royalty revenue of $216.5 million. “Fiscal 2012 marks the 11th consecutive year of record revenue and cash flow for Royal Gold,” President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Jensen said. “Our current financial results were driven by new and increasing production from recently commissioned mines, steady performance from our diversified royalty portfolio, and a continuation of strong metal prices.” Royalty revenue for the fourth quarter, which ended June 30, was $60.1 million, compared to the $59.3 million reported the same fiscal period last year. The net income attributable to Royal Gold stockholders for the 2012 fourth quarter was $20.6 million. The net income for last year’s fiscal fourth quarter was $21.7 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for fiscal 2012 was a record $237.6 million, representing 90 percent of revenue. The Adjusted EBITDA for the 2011 fiscal year was $190.2 million, or 88 percent of revenue. The Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of this fiscal year was $54.3 million, 90 percent of revenue compared to the $51.6 million, which was 87 percent of revenue for the prior year’s period. Despite the improved record net income and record royalty revenue for this fiscal year, Royal Gold believes its two northern Nevada property interests are lacking. “Barrick continued to prioritize production from their higher grade Cortez Hills operations that is not covered by our royalty interest,” Royal Gold’s news release stated. “As a result, production decreased during the period. Royal Gold expects production to remain at these lower levels until Barrick returns to steady state mining at the Pipeline Complex.” Royal Gold also mentioned a decrease in royalty revenue for Newmont’s Leeville mining operation. “A portion of the mine production at Leeville was derived from an area outside of our royalty area of interest in a decrease in royalty revenue over the prior period,” the news release said. “Another factor in the production decline was the recent repair to the ventilation shaft, which is now complete.” Much of Royal Gold’s record revenue and cash flow is due to production increases in the company’s other vested interests across the world. Due to these other properties, Royal Gold is optimistic for future earnings. “We remain well-positioned for new business opportunities as we move into fiscal 2013,” Jensen said.
RAM ... Continued from page 48 number one priority. “With safety comes quality. We wouldn’t keep getting asked back if we didn’t provide good quality. “Our people are our greatest assets. They’re the reason why we’re so successful. We hire good people. We do a good job of going through due diligence, making sure we have good people on board,” Horn said.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Louis Schack, director of communications for Barrick Gold of North America, views the old kilns and workings near the Cortez town site.
Digging through history Cortez celebrates 150 years of mining By JOHN RASCHE Mining Quarterly
CORTEZ HILLS â€” Some of the tombstones are faded and almost indecipherable, at least for the graves fortunate enough to have one. Other mounds swell from the ground to remain unmarked forever. The individuals buried in this old cemetery, encircled by a few trees and a barrier of barbed-wire, were workers and families of a mining community founded long ago in the Battle Mountain-Eureka Trend of Nevada. The dilapidated remains of their homes and workplaces rest only a few hundred feet from the grave site. As the deceased continue to rest undisturbed in the ground only a half-mile away from an open pit mine of Barrick Gold Corp.â€™s Cortez, mining construction continues to progress as it has since 1862. This year marks the 150th year of mining in the Cortez district, which indicates no sign of slowing down production. Ross Andreson/Elko Daily Free Press
See CORTEZ, 52
A P&H shovel loads ore into a 400-ton LiebHerr haul truck at the Cortez Hills pit.
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Cortez ... Continued from page 51 The Cortez Hills were once a source of silver, cinnabar and other metals, said Louis Schack, manager of communications and community affairs for Barrick Gold of North America. “There were over 500 people in old Cortez about 100 years ago,” Schack said. The mines have grown drastically since 100 years ago. Placer Dome Inc. began the first heap bleach process in the Cortez Hills. The company built the mill processing facility in 1969 and an early gold roaster facility in the 1970s, leading to an expansion of the mine throughout the 1980s. The expansion continued when the Pipeline deposit was discovered in the 1990s. The Pipeline deposit produced more than 1 million ounces annually from 1998 to 2004. Barrick Gold Corp. purchased Placer Dome in 2006 and immediately initiated new projects. At the time of the purchase, Cortez had 15.5 million ounces of gold reserves. Cortez has produced more than 16 million ounces of gold since 1969. Cortez Hills Underground Cortez began developing the Cortez Hills Underground mine in 2006 and production started in late 2008. Currently, the underground mine Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
See CORTEZ, 53
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Vern Goglio, underground mine manager at Barrick’s Cortez, talks about the functions of one of the pumping stations.
Cortez ... Continued from page 52 extends approximately 2.5 miles horizontally into the earth and is located directly below the Cortez Hills Open Pit mine. It is now advancing about 30 feet a day, Schack said. Cortez’s underhand cut-and-fill process allows the mining company to drill a drift into a certain section of the mine without damaging the surrounding areas, rich with uncollected metals. Once one drift has been completed, it is filled back up with a cement mix. Miners wait one week for the cement to dry before creating a new drift immediately adjacent to the old, cemented one. The layers of ore directly beneath the filled-in drift must wait at least three weeks before they too can be drilled. The Nevada Mining Association announced in June that Barrick’s Cortez Underground mine will receive a safety reward for its underground operation. The mine was awarded second place in the medium-sized organization category. Conductor Adan “Chapo” Nevarez will accept the award at the association’s annual convention Saturday at Lake Tahoe. “(Cortez Hills Underground) is the cleanest, safest underground mine you’re going to find around here,” Schack said. The mine’s ventilation system is currently being improved under a new plan that requires drilling large holes down from above. The holes, which are 14 feet in diameter, will be fitted with steel casings and lowered down 1,500 feet from Cortez Adan “Chapo” Nevarez operates a conductor in Barrick’s Cortez Underground Mine. Hills’ surface. More Additions Barrick also hopes to have a new leach pad installed next to Area 34, Cortez Hills’ sole leach pad, by the end of the year. Pipeline, located on the other end of the Cortez Valley, has a leach pad as well. Both Barrick sites are expected to produce four leach pads by the time of the pit mines’ completion. “Our plan is to basically build a leach pad every other year as long as the low-grade ore and production continue as they have been in the past,” Operations Engineer Bill Nichols said. Cortez is also in the process of acquiring new equipment, which will help open pit mining increase productivity and efficiency. The company purchased a herd of new mining trucks capable of carrying 400 tons of ore. The 32 caterpillar 795F AC’s and 22 LiebHerr T 282 B’s — the world’s largest haul truck— will be delivered in several shipments of smaller parts to Cortez over
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
the course of the next two years. In addition to the trucks, Barrick Gold Corp. recently began production in Cortez with the P & H 4100XPC, a new electric rope shovel capable of carrying a nominal payload of 150 tons. Halfway Done Last year, Cortez produced approximately 1.4 million ounces of gold and continued its 7-year run of million-ounce hauls. The mining company also poured its 15th million-ounce last year, according to John Mack, manager of administration. Cortez’s 17,000th bar of gold was poured in July. “We’re only about halfway done,” Mack said. The next large mining project, Goldrush, is southeast of Cortez Hills in Eureka County, just down the road from the old cemetery. The project is still in the explo-
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
See CORTEZ, 54
Melody Franks, right, fills an underground rig with water at Barrick’s Cortez Hills underground. In the background, contractor Quinn Butler observes the cementing process. Franks is an intern of operations from the University of Science and Tech in Rolla, Missouri.
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Cortez ... Continued from page 53 ration phase. “Goldrush appears to have a very large resource of gold,” Nichols said. “[We] still haven’t found the edges of it yet.” As the mines of Cortez continue to grow and expand, a reminder of the past occasionally emerges from the rocky ground. Sometimes, digging through modern pit mines uncovers much older mines that too had been fruitful with gold and other metals long ago. Due to the danger of the ill-conditioned mines, they must be removed or blocked. “You never know where the old mines are,” Schack said. “We mark them when we can and try to fill them with cement, unless there’s a bat population — in which case, we first have to address the problem of getting them out.” Expectations are high for the new gold mine and for the significant contributions made by Cortez’s more efficient equipment. The future looks bright for Barrick’s Cortez — bright with more gold. Cortez production for 2012 is expected to be between 1.2 and 1.25 million ounces, according to Barrick. Total cash costs are estimated to be $300 to $350 per ounce, which reflects “a high proportion of underground ounces and lower open pit grades as part of planned mine sequencing.” “We’re constantly planning,” Bill Nichols said. “We’re constantly growing.”
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Rachel Black, main powderer of underground blasting crew, describes the use of detonator cord and blasting caps at Barrick’s Cortez underground.
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Haul trucks carry material in July at Allied Nevada Gold Corp.’s Hycroft Mine west of Winnemucca.
BLM approves Hycroft expansion ELKO — Hycroft Mine will soon be adding hundreds of employees. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office issued the record of decision Wednesday, approving the project in Humboldt and Pershing counties. Hycroft Resources and Development, Inc., owned by Allied Nevada Gold Corp., is expanding its existing open pit gold mine operation. The project will extend the mine life approximately 12 years and provide approximately 537 jobs, according to the BLM. The existing open pit operation and associated disturbance would be increased by 2,057 acres from 1,371 acres of public land to 3,428 acres of public land. Disturbance on private land controlled by HRDI would be increased 115 acres from 1,692 acres to 1,807 acres. The additional acreage in the project boundary would be used for exploration. “This project is important to the local economy and will bring jobs to the Winnemucca area,” Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz said. “It is exciting to be able to help the local economy while ensuring that we have conducted a complete and thorough environmental analysis in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.” According to Seidlitz, the analysis addressed the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the associated resources and mitigations measures that were brought forward to ensure the proposed action is environmentally sound. Some of the key concerns with the project included air and water quality, light affecting night skies, and being within view of the southeast portion of the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon-Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. Mining in the area began in 1875 with the discovery of sulfur at the current Hycroft location. Subsequent mining on the property included silver, mercury, and potash. Hycroft has been in operation since 1987. See HYCROFT, 57
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BLM completes closure of 148 Hycroft ... dangerous abandoned mines Continued from page 56
ELKO — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management closed 148 dangerous abandoned mine sites in Humboldt and Lander counties. Nevada contains thousands of abandoned mine land features from the 1800s and early 1900s that now serve as habitat for bats and other valued wildlife and are hazards for off-highway vehicle riders and other recreationists, according to the BLM. Sometimes there are remnants of former mining operations that can alert hikers and others to the presence of potential hazards, other times there is nothing more than a hole in the ground that can go down for hundreds of feet. In the past, miners could just walk away from a claim which contributed to the estimated 265,000 to 310,000 AML sites across Nevada on both public and private land. Today, mining companies are required to reclaim mine sites when activities are completed. “The funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and an interagency agreement among the BLM Nevada, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation has, and continues to be, an outstanding investment,” said Gene Seidlitz, District Manager for the BLM Winnemucca District. “Numerous
AML sites in these counties have been closed which lessens the chances of public land users from being harmed.” All AML features were surveyed for archaeological and cultural values, wildlife and rare plants. The results of the surveys determine what closure method is going to be used at each site and to ensure no valuable resources are harmed. Abandoned mines can be closed by backfilling, using gates that allow bats and wildlife to pass through them or with polyurethane foam. The BLM and the Nevada Division of Minerals collaborate to identify clusters of hazardous sites that receive significant public use that could be closed as groups to minimize the time and cost for the project. Funding for the project was part of the $1.5 million received to permanently close dangerous abandoned mines in northern Nevada. A related project, also funded by the ARRA, closed 203 similar sites on BLM-managed lands in Clark County. Money from the project was spent in local communities where the work was being completed for supplies, crew support including lodging and meals at local establishments, vehicle maintenance and steel for the construction of bat gates.
A notice of availability of the final environmental impact statement for the Hycroft Mine Expansion Project, Humboldt and Pershing Counties was published in the Federal Register on July 6. The Hycroft Mine expansion record of decision and approved amendment to the plan of operations are posted on the Winnemucca District BLM website at: www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_information/n epa0.html. For information, contact Kathleen Rehberg, project lead, at 775-263-1500. Allied Nevada Earnings Allied Nevada achieved a net income of $6.1 million in the second quarter, compared with the $3.6 million earned in the same period of last year. Allied contributes this increased net income to lower exploration, development and land holding costs. The Hycroft gold mine production of 30,662 ounces of gold and 208,208 ounces of silver met expectations for the second quarter of 2012, according to Allied Nevada Gold Corp.’s new release published Aug. 7. Hycroft is estimated to produce about 180,000 ounces of gold by the end of 2012. Revenue from sales of the ounces of gold and silver sold in the second quarter equaled $33.7 million, which was an increase of $0.1 million from revenue in the second quarter of 2011.
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Neff brothers serve mining vendors with diesel repairs By HEATHER KENNISON Mining Quarterly
ELKO — From growing up on the family farm to owning their repair shop, the Neff brothers have been working with and fixing diesel engines. “I was always fixing stuff at the ranch growing up,” said coowner Jeremy Neff. The brothers grew up on Neff Ranch in Ruby Valley, a ranch that had been there since the late 1920s and made it through the Depression under the ownership of their grandfather. With each other’s help, Luke, Jeremy and Jason Neff are coowners of Neff’s Diesel Repair and Performance in Elko. They started the business in 2008. The family-owned operation does work on diesel vehicles ranging from performance upgrades and oil changes to brake replacements and alignments. “About the only thing we don’t do is sell tires,” Luke Neff said. A lot of the work they do is with the vendors that go out to the mines, such as Major Drilling America Inc., Komatsu Equipment Heather Kennison/Mining Quarterly
Co-owner Luke Neff stands next to the Neff’s Diesel Repair and Performance truck in the lot.
See NEFF’S DIESEL, 60
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Neff’s Diesel ... Continued from page 59 Co. and Atlas Copco Construction Mining Technique USA. About half of their business comes from vendors. Commercial vehicles must go through annual Department of Transportation inspections. “The biggest problem we have is our name,” Jeremy Neff said. “People think we just do heavy diesel trucks, but 90 percent of what we do is pickups.” The Neff brothers compete with Ruby Mountain Injection and dealerships for customers. H & H Automotive Specialists sometimes forwards customers on to Neff’s Diesel, Jeremy Neff said. “A lot of times they’re worried about how much it costs the customer so they send them here,” he said. Dealerships can be expensive as well, charging about $30 an hour more than the Neffs. The average cost of a repair is about $2,000 per truck. Since service trucks may cost a several hundred thousand, repairs are worthwhile. Companies choose to use diesel trucks for towing heavy loads because diesel has more energy than gasoline, Jeremy Neff
said. However, the price of diesel is rising, possibly because of the process it takes to refine it. “Diesel used to be significantly cheaper than gas, but not anymore,” Luke Neff said. The Neffs are not short on business, however. The waiting period for scheduling appointments is about two weeks. Each year, Neff’s Diesel Repair and Performance sponsors a truck pull at the fairgrounds. The event tests how far trucks can pull a heavy load. The brothers started the business in November 2008 after buying the old Murphy’s Diesel & Electric shop from Bret Murphy. Murphy had been an instructor at Great Basin College, and trained both Luke and Jeremy Neff. At the time of Murphy’s offer, they had been working for P&H MinePro Services. “Bret asked us if we’d be interested in it,” Luke Neff said. All three brothers are GBC graduates. Jeremy Neff had graduated from the diesel technology program at GBC in 2004 and had worked for Murphy for a couple of years. Luke Neff graduated from the same program earlier in 1999 and Jason Neff graduated from the welding
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Heather Kennison/Mining Quarterly
Buck Kindig works on a Dodge truck outside of Neff’s Diesel Repair and Performance. program in 2004. Since starting the business, the brothers have done quite well with their operation. “It just exploded on us,” Luke Neff said. “We’re doing about seven times the business as when we purchased it.”
The Neffs are considering expanding their operation in the future. The operation is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop is located at 5241 Manzanita Drive. Call 753-6429 for scheduling.
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BLASTS FROM THE PAST SERIES
Tsau-hau-bitts the Man-Eater, how Jarbidge came and went By WHEELER COWPERTHWAITE Mining Quarterly
ELKO — Long before prospectors came to Jarbidge, set up their tents and mined for gold, the Shoshones avoided the canyon because of the giant who lived within its walls. The giant, for whom Jarbidge is named, started his life as Tsauhau-bitts, before his name was slowly misheard, misunderstood and hacked away, leaving the canyon with Jarbidge, according to Shawn Hall, author of “Old Heart of Nevada: Ghost towns and mining camps of Nevada.” The fellow of massive proportions roamed the mountains surrounding the Jarbidge area. Tsau-hau-bitts searched for his prey, the succulent humans who called the areas around Jarbidge home. When prospectors came in 1860 to pan for gold, their hunt proved fruitless, netting them little if anything from the riverbed. It wasn’t until 1880 when the first apparitions of gold were to show up in Jarbidge, according to Hall. The legend is of a prospector and a sheepherder. Courtesy of Lillian Johns, Los Angeles. A prospector named Ross found a “rich ledge” on a mountain “high Jarbidge, nestled deep in the “Canyon of the Evil Giants,” as it was when stage driver Fred Searcy was murdered and almost $3,000 stolen from the mail shipment on Dec. 5, 1916. In 1919 many of the buildings on the main street were above the valley floor,” according to Hall. destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. The first hearing on the crime was held in the Commercial Club, the building with See JARBIDGE, 63 the flagpole, right center, which still stands on the main street of the mining camp.
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Courtesy of Ward Morgan, Wells
Main street of Jarbidge in 1910 when it was still a tent city.
Jarbidge ... Continued from page 62 Ross the prospector was able to tell a sheepherder named Ishman about the find before he soon died. Ishman then tried to bring another man to the site of the rich ledge. A brain hemorrhage struck Ishman down before he could lead the man to the gold, leaving the world bereft of the final witness. John Pence, whom Ishman had tried to lead to the find, continued to search, leading on with a pick and a rifle. The mine site was said to be guarded by an animated skeleton, although whose bones were so wrapped up in corporeal wealth the legend does not say. In 1891 and 1892, a prospecting group found traces of gold but traces do not a fortune make and they left the site, according to Hall. It was not until August of 1909 when two men found the only ore outcroppings in the whole of the valley. David Bourne and John Escalon belonged to the same prospecting party and found the outcroppings around the same time. The ore deposits were near to each other but because of the rough terrain and trees, each man was unaware the other had also struck pay dirt until later on while a third member of their party, Mike Pavlak, “made his own discovery, the Pavlak mine,” according to Hall. The ancient mining gods must have smiled down upon the three men, allowing each to discover his own vein of gold, where previous parties and single men had failed. Possibly Tsau-hau-bitts had finally relinquished his hold over the gold, allowing them to find the rich deposits where others found nought; his bones finally settling back to the ground from which they rose to enter that final slumber. Escalon’s find would become the Pick and Shovel mine while Bourne’s would become the Bourne Mine. The three similarly timed finds would draw a stampede of the public to the hardly easy to access Jarbidge. It only pours Papers across the western United States loudly trumped the finds of the three men See JARBIDGE, 64
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Jarbidge ... Continued from page 63 and their three mines, proclaiming as the town crier would, “There’s gold in these hills, there’s gold in these hills,” his voice echoing across the rocky mountains, writ large across the minds and eyes of men hungry for the next stampede. Overzealous exaggeration fended the collective imagination. “One account claimed that $27 million worth of gold was visible in Bourne’s mine,” according to Hall. Two months after Bourne’s Aug. 19 discovery, the Jarbidge Mining District was organized in October. “Fifty men lived in tents on the canyon floor,” according to Hall. The population was kept down by the coming winter and did not begin to grow until the following spring. The cold did not keep some of the men who had set up camp in the giant’s footprints from adventuring into the frozen hills to brave the skeletons and giants, hungry for a hot meal. Three men discovered one mine, instead of three discovering three mines, on Jan. 11, 1910. George Winkler, T.B. Beadle and Edward Benane laid claim to the Bluster mine, according to Hall. Despite the isolation and hardship that Nevada’s winters wafted down from the heavens on Jarbidge, companies began to buy the mines. “The Jarbidge-Pavlak Mining Company bought Michael Courtesy of Ward Morgan of Wells
Jarbidge in 1910.
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See JARBIDGE, 65
Ross Andreson/Elko Daily Free Press
Above:Elkoro Mill site as of August 2012, Jarbidge. At left: Elkoro Mill, Jarbidge. Courtesy of Nevada Historical Society, Reno.
Jarbidge ... Continued from page 64 Pavlak’s mine for $125,000. The Twin Falls-Jarbidge Development Company bought the Pick and Shovel from John Escalon for $250,000 in January, and the Bourne mine now operated under the auspices of the North Star Mining and Milling Company of Boise, (Idaho),” according to Hall. On March 5, Jarbidge became a real town in the eyes of the U.S. Postal Service as the post office opened. “By April 1, 500 people had flocked to Jarbidge and a city of tents sprang up,” according to Hall.” By May tri-weekly mail deliveries began from Three Creek and Idaho.” My little town Where there’s gold and weapons, violence is rarely far behind, schoolchildren have learned from the middle ages to the coming of the Conquistadors, and Jarbidge was no exception. The first killing, over a man pitching a tent on a lot another man owned, caused the townsfolk to hire the law, a man named Billy Ross. See JARBIDGE, 66
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Jarbidge ... Continued from page 65 Where there’s gold and weapons, there is often, too, children and yet again Jarbidge proved to be exceptional in hewing to the norm when the first log cabin for the education of the town’s youth was built in 1910, serving 11. The town contracted to about 500 as the winter neared and many with tents, who had not yet put up log homes, fled to more hospitable environs to wait out penance Father Winter doled out. Come the summer, the town’s population swelled back up to 1,200. The townspeople, deeming themselves more than a transient set of tents and logs put up in defiance of nature, paid for a road to Deeth through Charleston and a telephone line to Deeth. Come March of 1911, the biggest hurdle to the town’s growth fell beneath the wheels of progress when the Secretary of Agriculture, who controlled the Forest Service lands the town was built on, struck the Jarbidge area from the national forest. Come the summer of 1911, a 50-ton cyanide mill opened for the Jarbidge-Pavlak Mining Company and another mill opened for the Bourne mine. Despite the rosy glasses of investors and mine operators, “production was minimal and sporadic,” according to Hall. This lack of immediate gratitude left Jarbidge’s population at 300. From the ashes rises a golden phoenix It wasn’t until 1914 that production shifted from potential to reality with a total value of $78,000 in gold and silver, well below what most of the mines were purchased for, and the lion’s share of that came from the Bluster mine, according to Hall. In 1915, the profit raised to $105,000, thanks mostly to the Bluster mine. By 1916, six mills were operating but the gold and silver pulled out was only $11,000, a far cry from the previous year’s harvest. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
The historic community hall is one of the structures still standing in Jarbidge.
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See JARBIDGE, 67
Pavlak Mill shortly after completion. It was the first mill in Jarbidge Canyon and its construction brought Jimmy Johns to Jarbidge. Courtesy of Lillian Johns, Los Angeles
Jarbidge ... Continued from page 66 More important, according to Hall, was the formation of the Elkoro Mines Company, a subsidiary of the Yukon Gold Company. “The company spent the year developing the Long Hike and the OK mines,” according to Hall. In 1917, the Elkoro Mining Company reached a rich ore body in the Long Hike Mine. They constructed a 100-ton mill to process the ore and a 73-mile, 44,00 volt power line to Thousand Springs, Idaho, and provided power to the town. The company also built a damn to pump water into the mill and town. The Long Hike Extension Mines Company started mining down from the Elkoro mine. The two companies produced 85 percent of the district’s “all-time total production” of gold and silver, according to Hall. In 1917, Jarbidge mines produced $570,000 worth of gold, the highest producer in Elko County, which continued until 1933, according to Hall. In 1922, the Elko Prince Mining Company ”left the district after generating $1.3 million in revenue.” Slowly mining began to wind down. “From 1928 to 1931 the Elkoro ranked the second in the state, with $2.27 million worth of gold produced. Although in 1932 it produced much less than in previous years, the Elkoro still ranked first among Jarbidge mines,” according to Hall. Come April 1, 1933, in a cruel joke that was no joke, “the Elkoro company shut down all operations.” With the mill went the power until the town shelled out $2,000 for a transformer. By 1941, the final big mining company left town, while the few small operations continued. Dark days in a dark time The following year proved to be a dark one for Jarbidge and one that would later add one more ghost to its halls: Fred Searcy. “Thinking he had run over a rock, he gave it no more thought as he snapped the reins and clucked his two horses on toward Jarbidge. (Searcy) glanced up and noted that he was on the outskirts of the gold camp,” according to Howard Hickson in the Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly. “That was his last look at the world as an explosion behind his left ear sent a .44 caliber slug through his head, blasting him into eternity.” The murder brought Sheriff Joe Harris into Jarbidge from Elko. See JARBIDGE, 68
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Ross Andreson/Elko Daily Free Press The Nevada Hotel is one of the historic structures still standing in Jarbidge.
Jarbidge ... Continued from page 67 Eventually Ben Kuhl was arrested and tried, partially on the evidence of a bloody palm print, the first time one had been used in the American law system. A beautiful tribute to the murdered driver appeared in the Elko Independent. An especially poignant line speaks to the reasons behind the murder. “Foul Murder’s head Rears up so red, Behind her hideth Greed; And the crack of a gun And the deed is done A soul from a body freed, And thieves, with ease Below: Sheriff Jess Harris stands at the place The booty seize where the killer hid until the stage passed on And vanish with lightning speed.” the outskirts of town. Courtesy of Mrs. Jess C. Harris of Elko
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Phoenix begins construction on new copper facility By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Austin Cowan, project manager for Newmont’s Phoenix Copper Leach shows various aspects of the project using a map of the area.
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BATTLE MOUNTAIN — Construction on the new plant at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Phoenix Mine has begun. By next year, Phoenix should produce copper plates for its customers. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a record of decision in June that approved the Phoenix Copper Leach Project. “Last year we built the copper leach pad. Six million tons of ore is what’s on the pad currently,” Austin Cowan, project manager, said. The mine was able to do the earthworks needed for the project, but had to wait to construct the buildings until after the record of decision. “Now we can do the concrete and steel,” Cowan said. “The plant will be ready the end of August or September of next year.” The plant will produce 20 to 25 million pounds of copper a year, he said. It will produce about 230 million pounds over the life of mine, and about 300 million See PHOENIX, 71
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Above: Newmont employees look at the mill expansion project at Newmont’s Phoenix Copper Leach project. At right: A haul truck dumps material onto the copper leach pad at Newmont’s Phoenix Mine.
Phoenix ... Continued from page 70 pounds of copper over the life of the project, which is estimated at 30 years. “We will turn what is currently waste into revenue,” Cowan said. The project is 12 miles southwest of Battle Mountain on private and public lands in Lander County. Construction began July 9, said Newmont Senior External Communications Representative Matt Murray. The construction portion of the project employs about 125 workers and will peak at about 175 for one month, he said. See PHOENIX, 72
“We will turn what is currently waste into revenue.” Austin Cowan Phoenix Project Manager
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Phoenix ... Continued from page 71 The project has disturbed about 902 acres; 708 of those are on private land and in a heavily mined area, according to the BLM. The improvements at Phoenix are expected to create 40 to 50 permanent jobs, BLM manager of the Battle Mountain District Douglas Furtado said. “These jobs are needed in Nevada to continue improving the state’s economic recovery,” he said. New construction The new plant will include a solvent and extraction building, tank farm and an electrowinning facility. The plant construction will be done by the general contractor, TIC. To make the construction more efficient, 3D Concrete has a concrete batch plant on site. “Once we are up and going the customer will be able to pick up plates, 3foot square and a half inch thick, right from the plant,” Cowan said. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
A survey crew works at Newmont’s Phoenix. The solvent and extraction building and the tank farm will be constructed in the area.
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See PHOENIX, 74
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Cowan talks about the height the pumps will be after being placed on the pipes shown here.
Phoenix ... Continued from page 72 The ore on the leach pad is coming directly from the pit at Phoenix. Sulfuric acid is used to extract the copper. The acid will be brought in from Dunphy by rail and then trucked to Phoenix. The acid solution is gravity fed through pipes to the leach pad. “It is roughly 2 1/2 miles from the plant to the leach pad,” Cowan said. “The capacity is 10,000 gallons a minute.” The facility and the trench holding the pipes are lined to protect the surrounding area from leaks. VT Construction out of Las Vegas dug the pipe channel. If a pipe should leak, the acid solution would still reach the leach pad because the channel is gravity fed and lined. See PHOENIX, 75
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Phoenix ... Continued from page 74 The leach pad is 8 million square feet, but future phases will include a leach pad expansion and more ponds, Cowan said. Each layer of the leach pad is a lift, and for the first several lifts the acid is gravity fed. The pad is also divided into 10 cells. The acid solution goes to the bottom of the leach pad and finds the 4-inch corrugated pipes at the bottom, Cowan said. The solution then flows into the larger pipes and then flows into the pregnant leach solution or PLS pond. “We have monitoring wells for each cell of the leach pad to monitor any leaks,” Cowan said. “If we detect a leak down the road, we can stop using that part of the leach pad.” When the leach pad was built, Willow Creek Road was rerouted around it and a diversion channel was dug to prevent any major storm event from overflowing the leach pad with water. The solution collected in the PLS pond will have the copper values in it and then 600-horse power pumps will send the solution back to the plant. It’s called a closed-loop process, Cowan said. The pond is double lined and will have bird balls covering the entire surface so animals can’t Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
See PHOENIX, 77
A monitoring well sits parallel to the pipes leading from the copper leach pad to the PLS pond.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Cowan describes the use of high powered motors to operate pumps for the project. In the background is the leach pad and the ponds the solution will run into from the pad.
Phoenix ... Continued from page 75 land in the solution. An events pond was also constructed next to the PLS pond in case of storms. Before any processing is done, personnel will hydro-test the pumps and check the pipes for any leaks. While the mine will not be processing any of the stockpile or waste ore for several years, some of the waste ore was used in the construction of the leach pad. “We used some of the (crushed) stockpile as a protective layer over the liner,” Cowan said. “This allows us to get additional copper values out of it.” Other expansions Phoenix, which has four pits for gold and copper, is also expanding its mill. “The expansion project is adding additional flotation to add more time in the circuit to get more value out of the process,” Cowan said. “We’re also working on a secondary crushing area.” Phoenix has some of the hardest rock in the world, said Shar Peterson, Newmont external relations representative for the area of Phoenix, Battle Mountain and Lone Tree. “Anything that has a lot of gold or copper it is worth it to mill it,” Cowan said. “The high-grade gold and copper ore goes through the mill and the low-grade copper goes to the leach pad.”
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Exploration keeps BX Drilling Supply busy By ANDREA GLOVER Mining Quarterly
BOISE — Clients of BX Drilling Supply might not realize it, but the Boise staff is virtually always on call. “When customers call ... they ask if we have it on the shelf and how quick can we get it to them,” said Daniel Brockett, chief executive officer of BX Drilling. With the majority of its business in the Western U.S. and Elko, in particular, this means the Boise-based company frequently meets clients after hours and on the weekends. “Our number one run is to Elko,” said Brockett. “We run whatever they need out there.” Driven by high gold prices and extensive exploration, calls to run supply to Elko are so frequent the company keeps thousands of casings just outside the town in an effort to keep up with demand. “Without a doubt, our focus — 100 percent of our sales — goes to mining and drilling companies,” said Brockett. BX Drilling provides an array of products, and focuses on steel casing, steel piping and core boxes. Though other companies provide similar products, Brockett believes BX Drilling’s strength is in both its customer service and its knowledge of the industry. Brockett got his start with Boart Longyear, where he served the Western U.S. and Mexico as manager of the products division, before he left to oversee operation and business development in Submitted
See BX DRILLING, 81
From left, Daniel Brockett, Amber Brockett, Jenni Herberg, Lindsey Diamond, Michelle Li, Erica Doumani and Kenny Arreguin outside BX Drilling and Supply’s new Boise-based warehouse.
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BX Drilling ... Continued from page 79 North and South America as vice president for AK Drilling. “I learned a lot from the customers in those companies,” said Brockett. It was these customers, as well as Brockett’s desire to return to the area he grew up in, that led him to start BX Drilling last July. “I made the decision to show we were servicing the people properly, even if it wasn’t the most profitable,” said Brockett. “We’ve been very lucky.” BX Drilling has grown rapidly in the short year its been a company. What initially began with Brockett working in a garage by himself has transformed into a sprawling 6,000 square foot warehouse, complete with a dozen employees. “We’re appreciative that the customers have given us opportunity. From the big boys to the smaller companies, we know our customers have a lot of options when it comes to supply,” said Brockett. A key focus of BX Drilling is to provide timely service, something Brockett knows is of high value to those in the industry. “There’s a large contingent of supply companies. We’re not the only game in town. Newmont and Barrick, if they don’t get it when they need it, it can shut things down,” said Brockett. This is something Brockett has witnessed firsthand,
“I made the decision to show we were servicing the people properly, even if it wasn’t the most profitable.” Daniel Brockett CEO BX Drilling and is one Brockett has worked hard to combat at BX Drilling. “Something we’ve tried to work significantly on with our customers is some forecasting. We always try to keep more on the shelf than they need,” said Brockett. If supplies are low, the company works with other supply companies to provide product. This is industrywide, said Brockett, who added he sees other supply companies as part of a collaboration, rather than as direct competition. “Pretty much everybody looks out for everybody with the goal of keeping all the drills turning,” said Brockett. As the company continues to expand its products and services, Brockett hopes to create an Elko service station to better supply those in the industry. “We would love to have infrastructure there sooner or later,” Brockett said. BX Drilling Supply is at 214 W. 37th St., Boise, Idaho. Brockett can be reached at 208-331-1250.
Long Canyon still in planning stage By JOHN RASCHE Mining Quarterly
ELKO — Looking at an aerial photograph of an isolated location near the Pequop Mountains, one might notice a peculiar yellow glow emitting from a few areas. Newmont Mining Corp. believes this bright aura to be gold — lots and lots of gold — lying barely below the earth’s surface. But before Newmont can build the Long Canyon open-pit mine on top of this land, the company must first work alongside the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to create a layout plan and strategy for the future. The mining property in question is on the eastern side of the Pequop Mountains, approximately 30 miles east of Wells, 32 miles west of West Wendover, and only five miles south from Interstate 80. In 2011, Newmont purchased the Long Canyon property from Fronteer Gold for a whopping $2.3 billion. The proposed project would cover 1,631 acres of public land, including 480 acres of split-estate lands, according to a July BLM news release. See LONG CANYON, 82
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BLM Wildlife Biologist Nycole Burton shares her con cern for Long Canyon’s mule deer habitat with Eric Dursteler. John Rasche/Mining Quarterly
Long Canyon ... Continued from page 81 “Newmont paid a lot of money for the information they already knew about the property,” Regional Environmental Affairs Manager Dan Anderson said. “But we also [invested in the property] for the information we don’t know yet.” The Long Canyon territory is rich with high oxide deposits and high-grade gold deposits, Anderson said. “[Long Canyon] is also above the water table, the deposits are near the surface, and the area is really close to the interstate,” he said. “The mine will be hosted in limestone too, which is a basic non-acid component.” Long Canyon will be a mercury-free operation as well. Instead of adding a refinery to the project, Newmont will ship its material to a processing plant in Carlin that uses state-of-the-art mercury emission controls. The project is still in its early stages and both Newmont and the BLM are left guessing as to how much gold can be recovered from the property. “We never would have spent $2.3 billion if there weren’t signs of good gold deposits with more to come,” Newmont Director of External Relations Mary Korpi said. Construction is expected to begin by 2015, See LONG CANYON, 84
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Dan Anderson, Regional Environmental Affairs Manager for Newmont, points out the proposed Mule Deer migration corridor for Long Canyon. John Rasche/Mining Quarterly
Long Canyon ... Continued from page 84 Anderson said. “The construction process alone would employ 300 to 400 workers,” he said. “By the start of production, which will hopefully be by the end of 2016, we estimate to have 300 to 500 employees.” The proposed mine life is eight to 14 years. These available job opportunities would help the economies of Wells and West Wendover, but there are many environmental concerns regarding Long Canyon that need to be addressed before production can begin, Anderson said. A golden habitat One of the concerns regarding the project is the habitat of mule deer in the area, BLM Geologist and Project Leader Whitney Wirthlin said. The deer cross through the Long Canyon territory as part of their wintering habitat. Once accustomed to the layout of their landscape, any geographical change can disturb or disorient them. As a possible solution to the migration problem, a proposal was made to leave a See LONG CANYON, 85
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Long Canyon ... Continued from page 84 500-foot wide corridor between the open pit mine location and the waste rock dump that will allow mule deer to pass through the site unhindered. “Newmont’s concurrent reclamation for Long Canyon will assist in widening the corridor with time,” Wirthlin said. Concurrent reclamation is a process mining companies use to promote wildlife after all operations have ceased on a section of land. Other alternatives are also being suggested to and considered by the BLM. Mule deer are not the only species who have made of Long Canyon their home. Greater sage grouse, a species of ground-dwelling birds, also have a habitat within the territory as well as the surrounding areas. Although not covered under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stated that sage grouse warrant special protection. Possible pollution of a nearby water source is also a concern. “The Long Canyon project is within a drinking water source for Wendover and West Wendover,” Mark Dean, a hydrologist for BLM, said. “The open pit mine is only a few miles from the Johnson Springs systems, a WWII era pipeline that provides roughly a third of the cities’ water supply. We’ve heard suggestions from both the cities and Newmont, but the BLM hasn’t identified any alternative at this time.” Newmont’s plan for Long Canyon must consider the area’s existing cultural resources as well. “There is almost any archaeological site you could find in Northern Nevada (at this location),” said Matthew Werle, an archaeologist for BLM. Some of the sites are prehistoric, dating back to at least 6,000 years ago, Werle said. Big Springs Ranch, a property built in 1850, and part of the Hastings Cutoff, a route used by the Donner Party in the 1840s, are other landmarks situated within the Long Canyon mining territory. “We’ll be mitigating and excavating at least 60 sites,” Werle said. “It gives us a better idea of what people were doing in the past.” Twelve geologists and more than 40 contractors have been busy with the Long
John Rasche/Mining Quarterly
BLM Wildlife Biologist Nycole Burton, Environmental Coordinator John Stefka, and Archaeologist Matthew Werle, far right, examine aspects of the Long Canyon area. Canyon exploratory process since the project began. The next step forward BLM published a notice of intent in July to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Long Canyon open-pit gold mine. Before an EIS was published, a 45-day period was allowed for public comment. The period ended Sept. 4. “We’re still working together with BLM,” Anderson said. “The project is still very collaborative.”
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Ruby Hill works to expand By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
Steve Yopps, general manager of Ruby Hill Mine, talks about the facility.
EUREKA â€” Barrick Gold of North America is preparing to expand its operations at Ruby Hill. Mining at Ruby Hill started in 1997. Early in its life the mine had both a milling and a heap leach facility because it had high-grade ore. However, the high grade eventually ran out just as gold price reached its nadir, and the mine shut down in 2002. Fortunately gold prices later rebounded, and mining resumed in 2005, he said. â€œWe now operate successfully on some
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
See RUBY HILL, 87
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine Environmental Superintendent Clark Burton, left, talks about the mine site. At right is Yopps.
Ruby Hill ... Continued from page 86 of the lowest grades in the area — averaging 0.02-ounce per ton,” said Ruby Hill General Manager Steve Yopps. “We’re mining about 70,000 tons a day, with a strip ratio that averages 6 tons of waste for every 1 ton of ore.” he said. In August, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management began seeking public comment on the preliminary environmental assessment of the Ruby Hill planned expansion. The comments on the PEA will be accepted until Monday. A PEA, which is not as intensive as an environmental impact statement, is being used because all of the changes are within the boundary of the mine site, said Dorothy Harvey, BLM public affairs officer. The proposed expansion would use the existing primary and secondary crushers, solution processing plant and ancillary support facilities, according to the BLM. The plan of operations includes expansion of the existing open pit and pit activity area and lowering of the final pit bottom by 240 feet. The Archimedes Pit is about 1,300 feet deep. Clark Burton, environmental superintendent for Ruby Hill, said the existing pit will be expanded with the start of the Bullwhacker Pit. “We’ve been having a lot of success with the Bullwhacker Pit,” he said. “It’s already at 1.9 million ounces in resources. The company funded exploration even though it was not in the budget.” The pits are expected to produce through 2015. “When Bullwhacker gets started we will eventually have it joined up to Archimedes for a super pit,” Yopps said. The expansion plan also includes a conceptual process pond for future fluid management of heap drain down flows during closure; realignment of portions of the existing perimeter fence associated with the open pit expansion; increasing the authorized acreage of surface exploration related disturbance; expansion of the Class III landfill; and the establishment of a flexible mining and ore hauling timeline based on mining rates and economic conditions, according to the BLM. Expansion activities would disturb about 34.3 acres of additional BLM-administered public land and approximately 72.3 acres of additional private land for a proposed surface disturbance total of 106.6 acres. The total of the existing and proposed See RUBY HILL, 88
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
A haul truck waits to load in the Archimedes Pit at Barrickâ€™s Ruby Hill Mine.
Ruby Hill ... Continued from page 87 surface disturbance for the project would be 1,742.4 acres within the existing mine site, according to the BLM. Ruby Hill has 130 employees and 10 to 15 contractors working in the Archimedes Pit. The The PEA may be viewed at number of contractors may increase with the www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/ expansion, Yopps said. battle_mountain_field.html. Before expansion can begin, the BLM will have Questions and written comments to issue an environmental assessment and then a should be mailed to Christopher J. decision. Cook, Field Manager, Mount Lewis Tessa Teems, BLM planning and environmental Field Office, 50 Bastian Road, coordinator, said she expects a final environBattle Mountain, NV 89820. mental assessment on the project by the end of Comments may also be provided September. The decision will be issued sometime through e-mail at after. BLM_NV_BMDO_RubyHillMine While preparing to expand the property, Expansion_EA@blm.gov. employees are still mindful of the companyâ€™s priorities. Burton said all Barrick mines follow the four Ps of priorities: people, planet, property and production. Some of those priorities are about helping employees, being good neighbors and safety. See RUBY HILL, 89
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Ruby Hill ... Continued from page 88 Ruby Hill is very close to the town of Eureka, Burton said. “We are constantly interacting with the town folk,” he said. “We are in constant communication with the county and have a big presence in the economic impact of the area. There are housing limitations here so we house employees at a subsidized rate. The employees are only six miles from the site. Safety is always at the forefront of employees’ thoughts, Yopps said. The site just received a 2011 National Sentinels of Safety Award from the National Mining Association. Part of being good neighbors to the town of Eureka is keeping the noise down. “As the crow flies we’re less than a mile from Eureka, so we have to monitor our blasting,” Yopps said. “We can’t exceed .25 inch per second threshold.” Every site does a good job of hitting production, but Ruby Hill also is good on environmental updates. It has had no spills and no fatalities and no regulatory
The Archimedes Pit has 57 percent incline walls at Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine. Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
See RUBY HILL, 90
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Ruby Hill ... Continued from page 89 violations, Burton said. Ruby Hill is also committed to pollution prevention. “We look at all the processes, and do a risk assessment to determine which are the biggest risks,” Burton said. “Cyanide and hydrocarbons are the biggest. We have a bunch of permits to maintain on site. We have just as many as on a bigger site but sometimes they are simpler.” The site also works in coordination with the Eureka County recycling program. Ruby Hill recycles paper, aluminum, cardboard and scrap steel and oil. It also does not dispose of any of the punctured aerosol cans in the landfill. They are shipped off site as a best management practice, said Chelsea Anderson, environmental specialist for Ruby Hill. A group called Clean Harbors See RUBY HILL, 91 Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine Environmental Specialist Chelsea Anderson, talks about her duties at the mine site.
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Ruby Hill ... Continued from page 90 ships the cans to an off-site disposal facility. The mine also gets rid of noxious weeds on the property. A contractor comes out on a regular basis to eliminate the unwanted plants, Burton said. Barrick Earnings Shares of Barrick Gold Corp. fell after it reported the company’s shares dropped 35 percent in its second-quarter net income because of rising costs and lower production and sales. Revenue decreased to $750 million or 75 cents per share compared with net earnings of $1.16 billion a year before during the same quarter. The adjusted net earnings were $780 million compared with $1.12 billion in the second quarter of 2011. The second quarter ended June 30. The Toronto company’s shares fell more than 7 percent in morning trading to the lowest levels since 2009, according to The Associated Press. Barrick said the expected gold production for 2012 continues in the range of 7.3 to 7.8 million ounces. The total and net cash costs for gold are anticipated to be slightly higher, in the range of $550 to
$575 per ounce and $460 to $500 per ounce respectively, primarily as a result of higher first half costs in Australia Pacific and at African Barrick Gold. North America produced 850,000 ounces at a total cash costs of $516 per ounce in the second quarter. Cortez production of 380,000 ounces at total cash costs of $286 per ounce in the second quarter exceeded expectations on higher than expected underground grades and higher ore tons from the open pit. Cortez is in Lander County. Goldstrike, north of Carlin, produced 250,000 ounces at total cash costs of $616 per ounce. The production was impacted by “lower throughput capacity due to the planned shutdown of the roaster for maintenance,” according to Barrick’s report. The company expects Goldstrike to benefit in the second half of the year from increased throughput capacity following maintenance improvements and from access to higher grades with completion of underground development. Barrick expects full-year production for the region to be in the range of 3.425 to 3.60 million ounces at total cash costs of $475 to $525 per ounce.
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
A shovel is serviced in the Archimedes Pit at Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine.
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Power to prosper Atlas Copco revs up with expansion By ANDREA GLOVER Mining Quarterly
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Josh Howard, welder and fabricator for Atlas Copco, works on an Atlas Copco MT-42 mine truck at their facility in Elko.
ELKO — A little more than a decade ago, Atlas Copco opened up shop in Elko to serve the mining industry. Half a dozen expansions later, the company has proven it’s here to stay, and provides more parts and services to Elko-area mines than it has at any other point in the past decade. “We’ve had a lot of equipment coming in. It’s been a really, really good year,” said Atlas Copco’s Elko Store Manager Matt Willeford. To handle rising demand while still providing customers with the service they’ve come to expect, Atlas Copco separated its exploration business into its own storefront this year. “We wanted to align our business to really meet our cusSee ATLAS COPCO, 94
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Atlas Copco service tech Jerry Shaff tightens bolts on an Atlas Copco MT 2012 front axle in the rebuild shop in Elko.
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Atlas Copco customer service representative Maycee Kyllo shows an Atlas Copco Excore drill bit in the warehouse in Elko.
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Atlas Copco ... Continued from page 92
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Matt Willeford, Atlas Copco Elko store manager, demonstrates a safety function of a device for drilling exploration.
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tomer’s needs better,” said Willeford. “We really have a dedicated group of people that serve the exploration industry now.” In the warehouse, an exploration consumable technician shows customers how to use bits for maximum efficiency. In the front office, an overshot safety assembly is on display, which allows customers a hands-on opportunity to test out the device. “It’s been very well received,” said Willeford, who added that creating a separate space for exploration has allowed Atlas Copco to cater to customers’ needs. The new storefront opened in June, and hosted an open house during the Elko Mine Expo. It’s just one in a series of expansions the company has completed, as in 2008, Atlas Copco added a $2 million addition to the shop. Since completing the storefront for exploration products, renovations to another on-site warehouse are already in the works. “In the long run, we want to make sure we’re the best supplier to keep their machines up and running, while reducing downtime and cost,” said Willeford. Atlas Copco works with customers to reduce drilling costs and configure logistics to be more efficient, all the while keeping track of progress. This is done, Willeford explains, to “really maximize production and reduce cost” for Atlas Copco’s customers. “That’s where our customers come in. They can see we’re truly committed” to them, Willeford added. With Atlas Copco engaged in near constant expansion, Willeford said recruiting qualified technicians has been difficult. See ATLAS COPCO, 95
Atlas Copco ... Continued from page 94 The Denver-based company has locations across the United States, as well as in Nevada, and draws from a large demographic nationwide. Employees that have knowledge of the industry, as well as the local market, are sought-after at Atlas Copco, which has close to 50 employees at its Elko office. Nationwide, the company has an employee base of 4,000, with 13 construction and mining stores nationwide. Of these, the store in Elko is the largest. These employees help make the company a success, said Willeford, who explained that “we have the amount of people to take care of customers’ needs and concerns.” In addition to exploration equipment, Atlas Copco offers a wide array of products, such as exploration equipment, and lock drilling tools such as bit and steel for underground and surface. The company also provides ground support products, though the most sought after equipment is that used underground. “We’re definitely here to stay. We’re a brick and mortar company — we’re not scared to invest,” said Willeford. Atlas Copco can be reached on the web at www.atlascopco.us/elko or by calling 7777204.
Ross Andreson/Elko Daily Free Press
Atlas Copco service technicians Jesse Hipes, right, and Mark Peace work on an Atlas Copco M2C jumbo drill in the service shop, Elko office.
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Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
The top of Mt. Hope. The elevation is 8,411 feet.
General Moly hopes Mt. Hope approved by year’s end By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
EUREKA — General Moly employees are doing what they can to move the company’s Mt. Hope project forward and expect to see approval by the end of this year. Mt. Hope is a long-life molybdenum mine that would employ 400 to 450 workers once it goes into production. The mine will be 21 miles north of the town of Eureka. “My top priority is to finish the EIS,” said Pat Rogers, director of environmental and permitting for General Moly’s Mt. Hope project. “Really what my focus is, is building the compliance program and working on the other permits. We’re looking to see the final EIS published this fall, maybe toward the end of the third quarter. I think we will see the record of decision by the end of the fourth quarter.” The draft environmental impact statement was issued in December and General Moly completed a “3M” plan to mitigate the possible water loss from Diamond and See MT. HOPE, 97
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Mt. Hope ... Continued from page 96 Kobeh valleys. Rogers helped design the plan, which concerns how Mt. Hope’s water use will be monitored, managed and mitigated by the company and the state. State Engineer Jason King said the state has not had many 3M Plans, but this one was “very robust.” “We had a lot of input from various parties,” he said. “We’ve probably had thousands of monitoring plans, but as far as 3M Plans, probably only a handful.” Part of the plan includes monitoring sites throughout the property. The monitoring system covers 200 square miles and includes 130 to 140 sites made up of wells, springs and streams, Rogers said. “We predict water in the area will drop 10 feet after 44 years of mining,” he said. Water rights fight continues One obstacle that may still be in the way is a water rights battle. King granted water rights to the project in 2011. The project would use
Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
Monitoring wells on the Mt. Hope property are pointed out on a map.
See MT. HOPE, 98
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Mt. Hope ... Continued from page 97 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 11,300 acre-feet of water per year in its operations, with water to be recycled through the plant. General Moly’s project is roughly 21 miles north of the town of Eureka. The open pit would border Kobeh and Diamond valleys. 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. Look toward the future Once the record of decision is issued, Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
The future site of the Mt. Hope mine. In the distance is Kobeh Valley.
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See MT. HOPE, 99
Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
Pat Rogers, director of environmental and permitting for General Moly, left, and General Moly General Manager Mike Iannacchione examine maps of the Mt. Hope site.
Mt. Hope ... Continued from page 98 Mt. Hope will see 20 months of construction and then mining will begin, said Mt. Hope General Manager Mike Iannacchione. “One of the first things we will do is cut the trees,” he said. “We will give a lot away as firewood. Then the contractors will have to widen the roads so we can get our equipment in.” At ground level the top of Mt. Hope is 8,411 feet. During preproduction the elevation will lower to 7,050 feet, and after 44 years of mining the bottom of the pit will be at 4,700 feet, Iannacchione said. “We will have 32 years of mining and 12 more years for the low-grade ore to go to the mill,” he said. “So the mine life is 44 years. We will be lining the tailing storage facility even though we don’t have to.” Iannacchione said mining molybdenum has been a new experience for him since he has only been involved with gold mining during his entire 30-year career. See MT. HOPE, 100
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Mt. Hope ... Continued from page 99 Iannacchione said the highest grades of ore are the closest to the surface, so it will give the company a “quicker payback.” General Moly completed a review of the capital cost requirements for the Mt. Hope project. Mt. Hope has not materially changed in scope and is designed at 60 percent engineering completion with solid scope definition. The overall capital cost estimate has increased by 11 percent, or $130 million, and now totals $1.284 billion. “We had an increase in our capital costs but we were able to finance it,” said General Moly Chief Financial Officer Dave Chaput. Financial Statement General Moly reported a net loss of $2.7 million for the second quarter, compared with a loss of $5.4 million for the same quarter a year prior. The company’s cash balance at the end of the second quarter was $28. 2 million compared with $40.7 million at the end of 2011. During the six months which ended June 30, cash use of $12.5 million was the Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
These trees on Mt. Hope will be cut for firewood as part of preparing the property for the pit. In the distance is Kobeh Valley.
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Mt. Hope ... Continued from page 100 result of $9.4 million in Mt. Hope Project development, engineering and procurement costs, $3.7 million in general and administrative expenses, partially offset by $600,000 in proceeds from stock option exercises. “The loss for this quarter is in line with our expectation until we achieve production from Mt. Hope,” Chaput said. The larger loss for the 2011 second quarter was from the company writing off a $3.4 million deposit on mining equipment, he said. Chaput said one of the highlights of the report was that General Moly was able to secure additional financing. He said “the strength of our strategic partners allowed us to receive financing.” The company has entered into a non-binding letter of intent with Hanlong Mining to provide or arrange up to $125 million in subordinated debt to supplement a previously announced $665 million Chinese sourced term loan that is being negotiated with China Development Bank. The terms of this LOI with Hanlong include the initial availability of $75 million (Tranche A) during the Mt. Hope Project’s construction period and an additional $50 million (Tranche B) available during the 6 month period post construction. The $125 million facility can be reduced to the extent equipment is leased. Both Tranche A and B, if drawn, will mature in five years from the Mt. Hope Project’s achievement of commercial production. General Moly is still waiting on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to publish the final environmental impact statement. The company anticipates a record of decision on the project will be issued in the second half of this year. Mt. Hope is on 5 percent private land and 95 percent public. Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly POS-Minerals Corp. is 20 percent owner of the project. Iannacchione points toward Kobeh Valley from an altitude of 8,000 feet on Mt. Hope.
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Security is Pelcoâ€™s top priority By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO â€” Every mine site needs security, and high-quality video cameras makes surveillance of the property much easier. Pelco by Schneider Electric, based in Clovis, Calif., has some of the best equipment in the business, said Michael Lewis, systems technician 1 for Pelco. See PELCO, 103 Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Michael Lewis of Pelco by Schneider Electric shows the clarity of a wide dynamic range camera image during the 2012 Mine Expo at the Elko Convention Center.
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Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly
Lewis touches one of the various types of cameras in Pelco’s inventory. The image on the screen at right is from a Sarix camera and is filming the entrance to the mobile showroom.
Pelco ... Continued from page 102 The company showcased some of its latest high-tech cameras during the Elko Mine Expo in June. “We’re the largest U.S. manufacturer of video and surveillance equipment,” Lewis said. One of the company’s highlighted products was its Sarix camera with SureVision technology. The Sarix camera combines wide dynamic range, low-light and antibloom capabilities into one device. The anti-bloom capabilities allows the camera to compensate when a flashlight or headlights are shined directly at the lens, Lewis said. Unlike other cameras, the Sarix is not blinded by bright lights. “It makes it so there is no glare from lights or reflective surfaces,” he said. The camera also compensates for low-light situations. “It gives you almost a daylight photo,” he said. “It adjusts to the ambient light. It’s very clear.” The Sarix camera also can compensate for daylight and indoor light in the same image, Lewis said. It can show the viewer a clear image of the inside of an office, while still maintaining an accurate picture of what is happening on the other side of sun-filled windows. Most other cameras can either show a clear picture of the inside of an office or what is happening through the glass windows, but not both at the same time, Lewis said. Sarix also communicates wirelessly. The camera’s signal can be put out over Wi-Fi, said Bill Delmer, Schneider Electric regional sales manager. The cameras are used on various types of property from mines to schools and from banks to jails. The system can be set up to call 9-1-1 if there is a problem on the property. Pelco also has thermal imaging cameras that can see object up to 2 miles away. The system also has analytics to help security, Lewis said. If something is left behind, the system will automatically highlight the object on the screen. The analytics also can notify security personnel if a person crosses a boundary such as a wall, fence or a keep-out area. “The camera recognizes what is happening and notifies the system,” Lewis said. “It can also recognize a human crossing a no-go zone instead of an animal and the camera follows the person who violates the border.” Jails and prisons use Pelco’s analytic system to make it easier to move prisoners through the building. “We can set up an analytic box, so the camera can detect they are there and with a nod or something from the officer, the camera can tell the door to open so the officer doesn’t have to give up control of the prisoner to move to the next room,” Lewis said. Information on the Sarix camera can be found at www.pelco.com.
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Boart will expand By DYLAN WOOLF HARRIS Mining Quarterly
Dylan Woolf Harris/Elko Daily Free Press
ELKO — In Nevada’s gold country, mining support businesses play an important economic role. Drilling company Boart Longyear has maintained a steady presence doing just that. Matthew Burton, the company’s zone manager for Nevada, credits Boart Longyear’s stalwart reputation to its twoprong commitment: safety and quality. No subject, it seems, is prioritized higher in the industry than safety, and Boart Longyear reflects that same sentiment. “A leading safety culture is very important to our clients. If we have a safety incident, it’s their safety incident because it happens on their property,” Burton said. Boart Longyear employees participate in safety training often to keep employees current and practiced on safety standards,
Boart Longyear’s Nevada Zone District Manager Matthew Burton explains how drillers use track rigs to drill ground and collect rock-chip samples at the company’s Union Pacific Way property.
See BOART, 105
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Boart ... Continued from page 104 he said. Secondly, a drill is not worth its weight without a knowledgeable driller operating it, and Boart Longyear’s drillers know how to drill well. “We have accumulated a thousand years of drilling experience,” Burton said. Many of the drillers in the area have more than 30 years of individual experience. Drillers’ expertise doesn’t stop at the equipment used, though. Boart Longyear also researches the terrain of the earth. Types of ground are drilled differently, and the company’s employees have learned how to optimally dig depending on where they are located. “Drilling in Nevada is different than drilling anywhere else in the world,” Burton said. Because of Boart Longyear’s top-of-the-line safety standards and drilling quality, it delivers the highest value to its clients, Burton said. The origin of Boart Longyear dates back more than a century to 1888, when mining engineer and Michigan School of Mines graduate Edmund J. Longyear drilled in northern Minnesota. Boart International — named after African mined industrial-grade diamonds used on drill bits — became sole owner of Longyear in 1974, which by then had established itself as a leading drilling company, according to the company’s website. “We have an old picture of a Longyear rig drilling tests for the footing of the Golden Gate Bridge,” Burton said. Perhaps more impressive than the company’s longevity is its projected expanse. Boart Longyear has operations globally, with its headquarters in nearby Salt Lake City.
Boart Longyear’s Nevada Zone District Manager Matthew Burton stands next to a core drilling rig on the compa ny’s Union Pacific Way property. Dylan Woolf Harris/ Mining Quarterly
See BOART, 106
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Boart ... Continued from page 105 Locally, Boart Longyear purchased two Elko companies and continues to operate out of the former facilities of Eklund Drilling Company Inc. and Lang Exploratory Drilling. With a well established operation in the Elko area, Boart Longyear is gearing to grow. Within five years, Boart Longyear plans to double its Nevada operations. “We plan to build a new facility here pretty soon,” Burton said. The company is also planning to expand the type of drilling it offers. In Nevada, Boart Longyear primarily focuses its operations on exploration drilling and de-watering. “In order for the gold companies to know where to build their mines, they need to find the gold first,” Burton said. Boart Longyear works closely with the sites’ geologists in the exploration divisions to determine optimal drilling locations. Geo-technology and a geologist’s expert intuition helps the mines estimate where gold is likely to be, but sites aren’t established until gold is found. “To really know if there is gold down there, you have to drill,” Burton said. That’s where Boart Longyear’s value is first felt. A hole is drilled and rock chip samples are collected for every 5-foot section of drilled earth, to be taken back to an assay lab for analysis. Boart Longyear de-watering drilling is also a large part of its Nevada business.
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“To really know if there is gold down there, you have to drill.” Matthew Burton Boart Longyear’s zone manager for Nevada Whether a mine is open pit or underground, the hole will go below the waterline, Burton said. “We drill big production water wells that drain the aquifer where the mine happens to be and continue pumping water out, so their mine doesn’t fill up,” he said. In the upcoming expansion, Boart Longyear will begin running extensive surface core drilling and underground core drilling. Boart Longyear does some core drilling currently, Burton said, but the intended expansion will affect that type of drilling most. With the expansion comes job opportunities. Boart Longyear is aiming in that time to expand its staff of roughly 400 employees to 800. According to Burton, the added demand is coming from the mines. “We’re growing not just to grow. We’re growing because our clients need us to,” he said. Increased drilling operations will require more drills with experienced drillers to operate them, and about three driller assistants each. If committed, an assistant could move up to the position of driller within three or four years, Burton said. “Drilling is really a career,” Burton added.
Dylan Woolf Harris/Elko Daily Free Press
A closer look at the drill’s controls.
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Hollister may see decision by year’s end By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO — Hollister may see a record of decision on its underground mine by the end of the year. However, cultural concerns about the project is still one of the main issues from people who are against the project. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management hosted two open houses on the Hollister project — one in Elko and the other in Owyhee. The events were an opportunity for people to discuss Great Basin Gold Ltd.’s underground mine project and to receive feedback on the draft environmental impact statement. The BLM received 30 written comments by the July 16 deadline, said Janice Stadelman, BLM geologist and project lead. “It was a mixture of comments for and against the project,” she said. “Some were just statements Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly file
Great Basin Gold’s Teresa Conner talks about moving offices at the Hollister Mine Site at the Bureau of Land Management Elko office.
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See HOLLISTER, 109
Hollister ... Continued from page 108 for or against, others had details.” Stadelman said the main issue were the religious and cultural issues of the Tosawihi Quarries. Other concerns were about water quality and sage grouse. Those who were for the project were concerned about losing their jobs if the project wasn’t approved, she said. “The goal is to get the (record of) decision issued by the end of the year,” Stadelman said. “We’re in the process of working on the Native American consultation.” Issues from Elko open house During the June open house, Stadelman said there will be steps taken to alleviate the cultural aspect. The archeological use of the area supersedes the mine exploration on the surface, she said. 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 See HOLLISTER, 110
Ross Andreson/Mining Quarterly file
Western Shoshone tribe member Felix Ike points to a map where Native Americans consider the area sacred ground near the Great Basin Gold’s Hollister Mine Site during a June open house at the Bureau of Land Management, Elko office.
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Hollister ... Continued from page 109 open-pit mine site. The main area surrounding the pit is also 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, Stadelman said. “They will have access to the surface except around the portal to the underground,” she said. “If they want to get to the area where the portal is, they will have to be escorted.” The Mud Springs Road will remain open, but there will be a guard shack. People will be allowed to pass through the area. Felix Ike, a Western Shoshone, said he feels the cultural and religious area should have more priority. “You used to be able to see artifacts all over, not just one or two,” he said. “There used to be hundreds. Now I don’t see any. All we are asking for is documentation of what you find.” Ike said the entire mine project site is on sacred ground. He said any tools, projectiles or other ancestral artifacts found in the area should be collected and taken to a museum. “I would like to see it at the cultural center,” he said. “The California Trail Center has nothing on the Shoshone. ... We would like to expand the archeological district, north of Willow Creek. Now that the BLM has
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reviewed it, our history is going to be lost. This place is so vast and so rich it’s unreal.” Ike said the mine or contractors should employ Native American monitors. “You have to know the area,” he said. “We need to know so we can question what’s going on. It also makes your project go quicker.” “They’re more concerned about a silly bird than they are about the cultural and religious concerns,” he said concerning the DEIS’ mention of the sage grouse. Teresa Conner, environmental manager of Great Basin Gold, said the company has been proactive about the issues with the property. “We have tried really hard to keep our footprint as small as possible, because we are keenly aware of the archeological concerns,” she said. The largest disturbance to the land will be the construction of a new powerline across 31 acres. The company decided to not build an ore processing area on site because of the archeological concerns. “The new disturbances will be practically non-existent,” Conner said. “We will build new offices on reclaimed land. We will utilize the same area where offices used to be on the property.” “If we want to do anything out here, we have to have an archeological consultant and do a Class 3 survey,” she said about any work on the surface. “We are smack dab in the middle of an archeological district, they have to come out and approve the area before we drill.”
Conner said the consultants have told the company to move from some areas where the company wanted to explore. “We’ve been looking at this for two and a half years now,” Conner said. “It has been a long process, but we are getting close to the end.” At full production, the company expects to employ an estimated 200 individuals. The mine will be run by Rodeo Creek Gold, a subsidiary of Great Basin Gold. Next step The mine may have a record of decision by the end of December. Stadelman said the next step in the process is the final environmental impact statement. She hopes to have that completed by October. Once the final EIS is issued there is a 30-day public review. However, before that can happen the final EIS also has to be published in the Federal Register, which is a “wild card” on the length of time it will take, Stadelman said. “To issue a record of decision by the end of the year, we would have to get everything done by mid- or end of October,” she said. “If we don’t get the final out until the end of the year, the record of decision would come the end of January or February of 2013.” Copies of the Draft EIS are available at the BLM Elko District Office and online at the BLM Elko District website address: www.blm.gov/rv5c
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Round Mountain team overall winner at Safety Olympiad By MARIANNE KOBAK McKOWN Mining Quarterly Editor
ELKO — The Safety Olympiad is about more than who receives the top scores; it’s about teamwork and education. However, awards were still given out to recognize those with the highest numbers during the 26th annual Safety Olympiad at the Elko Convention Center. Barrick Gold of North America’s and Kinross Gold Corp.’s Round Mountain Mine was first for A flight, and Rawhide Mine from Gillette, Wyo., was first for B flight. The competition was July 14 at the convention center. This year, 14 teams from Nevada, Wyoming, California and Utah competed in the event hosted by Barrick Gold Corp.’s Goldstrike Mine, the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority and the Nevada Mining Association. “The whole competition is about learning Submitted
The Round Mountain Gold team won A flight for the Safety Olympiad.
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See OLYMPIAD, 113
Olympiad ... Continued from page 112 from each other,” said Bob Phillips, general supervisor for safety and Health Services emergency response for Barrick Goldstrike Mine. He has been on the Goldstrike Mine Rescue Team for 23 years. “It’s not only about learning from your own team but from the other teams,” he said. “The benefit is about the learning. Everybody’s a winner from learning.” The 14 teams were made up of seven members and one alternate. The teams from Nevada mines are Barrick’s Bald Mountain and Cortez; Barrick and Kinross Gold Corp.’s Round Mountain; Newmont Mining Corp.’s Carlin, Phoenix and Twin Creeks; and Goldcorp Inc.’s Marigold Mine. The out-of-state mine rescue teams included Cloud Peak Energy Antelope, Peabody Powder River Antelope, Rawhide and Caballo, all from Gillette, Wyo.; and OCI Chemical from Green River, Wyo.; Rio Tinto Kennecott from Utah; and Rio Tinto Boron from California. The top three teams in A flight were
Round Mountain, Cloud Peak Energy and Peabody Powder River North Antelope. The top three teams in B flight were Rawhide, Caballo and Rio Tinto Boron. The No. 1 winners of the special awards included: • The Anna Squires Award for the most overall points on Friday — Round Mountain Gold. • The John Skinner Award for overall trainer — Shane Anderson of Newmont’s Phoenix Mine. • The John Bunch Award for written test — Travis Starks of Peabody Powder River North Antelope. • The OJ Laughlin Award for team sportsmanship — GoldCorp Marigold. Phillips also provided the names of the winning teams for the different categories in the events at the convention center that The Rawhide Mine team won B flight. involved a variety of scenarios: Written Test — 1. Rio Tinto Creeks; 2. Barrick Cortez; 3. Cloud Peak Kennecott, Utah; 2. Peabody Powder Energy River North Antelope Rochelle; 3. Rio Medical Station No. 1 — 1. Caballo; 2. Tinto Boron California Barrick Cortez; 3. Peabody Powder River MA / Ropes — 1. Newmont Twin
North Antelope Rochelle Hazmat / Gas — 1. Newmont Twin See OLYMPIAD, 114
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SAVE THE DATE
Register for Summit of Mining Communities LEADVILLE, Colo. — Join the National Summit of Mining Communities to explore solutions to issues the mining community faces. Scheduled from Oct. 1-4 in historic Leadville, Colo. — where the summit initially began — the focus of the sixth annual event is to explore, learn and share solutions used to address issues facing mining communities in today’s world. A wide range of topics will be discussed, including the latest trends in
community and economic development, as well as current environmental legislation and challenges the industry faces in regards to resource extraction and working on tribal lands. The event also provides an opportunity to network with other mining communities. Those interested in attending are invited to visit nationalsummitofminingcommunities.com, or call 1-800-6218559, ext. 4258.
Registration open for Northwest Mining Association’s convention SPOKANE, Wash. — The Northwest Mining Association’s Annual Meeting, Exposition and Short Courses event will take place from Dec. 2-7 at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Wash. Themed “Thoroughly modern mining in a technology based world,” more than 230 booths will be set-up as part of the convention, featuring hundreds of exhibitors. Various technical sessions and short courses are scheduled over the week-long event, as well as a field trip to explore over 130 years of Silver Valley history in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Executive Director Tim Wood, with Denver Gold Group, will give a keynote address as part of the industry outlook luncheon Dec. 6. Discounted registration is available — completed registration forms must be received by NWMA prior to midnight on Nov. 18 to be eligible for the discounted or comped rates. All forms received after that date will be charged an addition $50. All hotel reservations are handled by the Visit Spokane Housing Bureau, which can be contacted at 509-363-6834. Reservations made by Nov. 19 are eligible for a discounted conference rate. The annual meeting begins with short courses on Dec. 2, 3 and 4, and the technical sessions begin on Dec. 5. For information or to pre-register, visit www.nwma.org or call 509-624-1158.
Olympiad ... Continued from page 113 Creeks; 2. Rio Tinto Kennecott, Utah; 3. Round Mountain Gold Fire Station — 1. Round Mountain Gold; 2. Rio Tinto Kennecott Utah; 3. Peabody Powder River North Antelope Rochelle Confined Space — 1. Newmont Carlin; 2. Peabody Powder River North Antelope Rochelle; 3. Caballo
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Retention — 1. Rio Tinto Boron California; 2. Peabody Powder River North Antelope Rochelle; 3. Newmont Carlin Medical Station No. 2 — 1. Newmont Carlin; 2. Rawhide; 3. Round Mountain Gold Trainer — 1. Shane Anderson Newmont Phoenix; 2. Charles Anderson Cloud Peak Energy; 3. Wade Skinner Rio Tinto Kennecott, Utah
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Caley Cook/Mining Quarterly
Dean Ranch manager Sam Kaster and Hay Ranch manager Doug Groves examine the 2012 alfalfa crop. Despite drought, the ranch’s crop has done well this year. Kaster credits careful soil management and water techniques.
Barrick takes up ranching By CALEY COOK Mining Quarterly Correspondent
ELKO — The five cowboys at the Dean Ranch knock off work around 6 or 7 p.m., but they rarely bide their time with TV. Instead, as the sun sets over the Cortez Mountains and the heat begins to die down, these cowboys fire up a makeshift mechanical roping bull, and set to showing each other up with a lasso. “Since I hurt my shoulder, I’m not as good with the rope as I have been,” said Sam Kaster, the manager at the Dean Ranch. Kaster is a tall drink of water who is generous with his laughs and firm with a handshake. He’s been a cowboy for decades. But for the past three years he’s been a cowboy working for a mining company. Kaster is a part of Barrick’s contemporary push to purchase and operate ranches in northeastern Nevada. These ranches offer options for their mines’ biggest challenges See RANCH, 117
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Ranch ... Continued from page 116 to manage water rights, land acquisition, wildlife sustainability, and to act as a security buffer between the public and Barrick’s mines. Their six major operations at Squaw Valley Ranch, Dean Ranch, Hay Ranch, JD Ranch, Tumbling JR Ranch, and the 7H Ranch cover more than 200,000 acres of ranching land. These operations don’t come cheap. The company spent more than $50 million purchasing its ranch properties. And that’s not counting the water permits, grazing permits, operation budgets, security, communications, and other monthly line items that go into contemporary ranching operations. Barrick also employs about 18 fulltime employees (and some seasonal workers) who do everything from flood irrigation to fencing to mechanical work to pivot operation to managing 1,500 head of cattle. The Dean Ranch — whose founder married the first manager at the Cortez mine — is the jewel of the bunch. Its ability to reuse water that is pumped out of the underground water table of the Cortez mine allows Barrick to keep that water in the basin, as required by its water permit, while still using it for its own agricultural purposes. Water is piped out of the Cortez underground, down the hill to the ranch, and out into mechanical pivots that keep crops like alfalfa hay, feed barley, grain corn and canola growing each season. Whether on purpose or by happy accident, Barrick has See RANCH, 118
Caley Cook/Mining Quarterly
Watering pivots are used in the Dean Ranch basin to keep crops growing during the harsh summer months. The mechanized watering technique keeps the ranch’s alfalfa hay, feed barley, grain corn, and canola moist using water pumped from the Cortez underground mine.
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Caley Cook/Mining Quarterly
Wild horses (or feral horses, as ranchers refer to them) graze on Dean Ranch grounds. Dozens of the horses live on the ranch land.
Ranch ... Continued from page 117 hired cowboys who have deep ties with the local ranching community. Kaster has years of ranching experience in southern Idaho and northeastern Nevada. Doug Groves, who just started as the manager at the Hay Ranch in January, has been a local rancher for decades. “We’re a big worldwide gold mining company, but we don’t bring a bunch of executive types in to run the ranches,” said Surface Resource Manager Gary Sundseth, who oversees Barrick’s ranch properties. “We find people who work these ranches and See RANCH, 120
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Caley Cook/Mining Quarterly
Kaster walks through his 2012 grain corn crop. It’s one of a few corn crops in the area and is used as feed for cattle in the winter months.
Ranch ... Continued from page 118 know the lay of the land and know the people here and understand the culture because they’re the best people to do it.” Kaster and Groves seem truly invested in the sustainability of their individual operations. Sundseth credits much of that investment to a healthy competitiveness with other ranches. But Kaster is also an obviously talented rancher and farmer. His colleagues spend time admiring the quality of his alfalfa and he’s one of a few farmers in the area who has a high quality corn crop this year. He chalks it up to careful soil management and Barrick’s eagerness to utilize new farming and ranching technologies. “The company has allowed us to use all the new technologies out there,” Kaster said. “I don’t have the fear of having a total crop failure here … because we have that little safety net. The company allows us to be on the cutting edge of agriculture. Not only allows it, but encourages it.” See RANCH, 122
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Caley Cook/Mining Quarterly
Mule deer, like the one above, and antelope wander the grounds of the Dean Ranch during the summer months.
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Ranch ... Continued from page 120
Caley Cook/Mining Quarterly
These ranches are not without their own challenges. Wildfire is a huge risk, especially in a drought year like this one. Wild or feral horses live on the property and take a toll on the crops and water supply each year. The ranch managers work constantly to control evasive weeds and other non-native plant species. And of course, there’s never enough water to go around (even though the water coming out of the mine is nearly unlimited, their farm use is limited to their irrigation permit). But one of the biggest challenges so far is that ranching isn’t anything like mining, yet when you’re owned by a large mining corporation, a lot of the same regulations, bureaucracy, paperwork and procedures apply. “We spend a lot of time doing paperwork,” Groves said. “That’s not something that every rancher has to worry about. But at the end of the day, ranching is a small community and so is mining, so we do have things in common.” So far, Barrick’s foray into Nevada ranching is progressing. On the Squaw Valley Ranch, they’ve had some success in helping to increase populations of Lahontan cutthroat trout in Willow Creek. An environmental division of Barrick’s Cortez mine has also grown native seed — grasses, shrubs and bushes — on a swath of the Dean Ranch for the last two years. And the operations are, so far, mostly financially sustainable on their own, said Sundseth.
Kaster says many of the ranch’s horses, like the one above, are getting fat this time of year before the real work of moving cattle starts in the fall.
See RANCH, 127
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Newmont Mining Corp. Legacy Fund Administrator Nancy Ostler, standing, conducts a recent campaign meeting.
Newmont fund helps communities in present, future By JOHN RASCHE Mining Quarterly
ELKO â€” Although the gold industry across Northern Nevada continues to grow and expand, there are inevitable concerns about the future. What will happen to the City of Elko if the gold runs out or the stocks plummet? What will happen to all of northeastern Nevada if the mines are forced to suspend or terminate their operations? How is one to survive? The Newmont Mining Corp. has prepared for such a case and is ready to face the problem if the gold industry does fade away. Newmont created the Legacy Fund in 2010, which encompasses a direct employee giving campaign, community contributions program and a community endowment fund. These multiple efforts assist in meeting future community social service needs, said Nancy Ostler, executive director of NMC Legacy Fund and senior external relations representative of Newmont Mining Corp. See LEGACY, 124
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Legacy ... Continued from page 123
“The NMC Legacy Fund’s goal is to help grow and build healthy communities across Nevada where Newmont operates and to leave behind a legacy for future generations,” Ostler said. Newmont employees are asked for personal contributions to the fund each year. NMC then matches the raised donations dollar-for-dollar and distributes the sum to 150 nonprofit organizations across northeastern Nevada. Newmont also covers the overhead and administrative costs separately, ensuring that 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to the nonprofits. When the Legacy Fund first began in fall of 2010, 58 percent of Newmont Nevada employees made personal contributions, together pledging more than $648,000. Newmont matched the sum, resulting in a total of $1.3 million that went to the nonprofits across northeastern Nevada in 2011. Employee personal contributions have increased since then. In the fall of 2011, 69 percent of employees pledged a record $937,000, an amount that was $289,000 more than the prior year. The $1.8 million of last year’s contributions is being given to 150 nonprofits in Northern Nevada, extending to communities in Elko, Carlin, Battle
Newmont employee Tom Mills thumbs through the NMC Legacy Fund Nonprofit Catalog provided to assist Newmont employees in their nonprofit selections.
See LEGACY, 127
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Ranch ... Continued from page 122 “The primary goal of agriculture, at its base, is sustainability,” Kaster said. But they really haven’t owned many of these ranches long enough to quote successes, Sundseth said. It’ll be a few more years, and some more investment, to see most of these ranches and farms turn into full-fledged operations. They’re still thinking creatively, if nothing else. “I know I’m going to get rocks thrown at me, but I’d love to bring camel out here,” Sundseth said without a hint of a smile. “Camel will eat absolutely the opposite of what every other thing is eating. They eat greasewood. And we’ve got a lot of that out here.”
Legacy ... Continued from page 124 Mountain, Wells, Wendover and Winnemucca. The money will also help other local communities within Elko, Eureka, Lander and Humboldt counties. “Although some nonprofits are larger and more well-known than others, we feel that each service organization provides vital services to each of our communities,” Ostler said. This year’s Legacy Fund has already distributed more $900,000 of the contributions to local nonprofits. The recipients include Nevada Health Centers Inc., Communities in Schools of Nevada, and VFW Post 2350. The Newmont Legacy Fund allows employees to allocate their donations to the nonprofit of their choice. “Employees donate to organizations that they have a passion for,” Ostler said. “There is no grant process or application for the nonprofits to complete.” All of the organizations chosen for Legacy Fund contributions must pass an evaluating process, which includes verification of their tax exempt status as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Newmont’s community endowment fund, another component of the Legacy Nancy Ostler Fund, has also continued to gain support Newmont Legacy Fund Administrator from the company’s employees. The endowment fund is growing at an average of $225,000 a year, Ostler said. “Although we have been operating in Nevada for almost 50 years, we also recognize that operating mines do have a lifetime,” she said. “The NMC endowment fund was established to build a financial resource that would be available to provide assistance to local communities once mining activities cease.” As with the direct employee giving campaign, the Legacy Fund Endowment Fund is also made up of employees’ matched donations. Newmont funds an additional $100,000 commitment each year. Although employees are unable to designate the specific nonprofit organization that will receive the endowment funding, they can choose a specific community to be a recipient of the donation in the future. So far, the endowment fund has benefited food banks, hospice centers, senior centers and youth programs across northern Nevada. “This is only the third annual campaign for the NMC Legacy Fund,” Ostler said. “However, Newmont employees have generously given back to their communities for over 150 years, not only with their liberal financial support, but also through service and volunteer hours. The success of the NMC Legacy Fund is due to the remarkable generosity of our Newmont Nevada employees. The 2012 combined total of nearly $2 million from our employees’ donations and the Newmont match is an incredible amount of money. It makes all of us at Newmont very proud to work with exceptionally giving and caring people and proud of our company as well.”
“Although some nonprofits are larger and more wellknown than others, we feel that each service organization provides vital services to each of our communities.”
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Elko mining businesses aid troops By SPC. MICHAEL ORTON 106th Public Affairs Detachment, Nevada Army National Guard Mining Quarterly Correspondent
ELKO — Sgt. 1st Class Curt Prokasky is on his second deployment in Afghanistan and of all the things he has to worry about during a deployment, finances and family are not one of them. Newmont Mining Corporation stepped up in that department, he wrote. “Just to be able to know that Newmont has our back in every aspect, whether it be from a financial standpoint or just to taking care of our families at home is very comforting,” Prokasky wrote in an email from Afghanistan. “We in the Newmont family take care of each other on the job site just like we do on the battlefield.” Prokasky is an operations manager of the 593rd at Camp Phoenix in Afghanistan. He is also a senior mine maintenance planner at Newmont’s Midas Mine site. During his deployments, Newmont and its employees have sent care packages,
emails and kept in constant contact to ease the stress of deployment, Prokasky said. More than 15 percent of Newmont’s active employee force is current or retired military, Newmont Talent Acquisition Director Nick Tompkins said. Recruiting military is a focus, he said. Barrick Gold Corporation also targets military in employee recruitment. The human resources and recruiting departments at Barrick and Newmont have traveled to Veterans of Foreign Wars conventions, job fairs at Nevada military armories and conventions in Twin Falls, Idaho, and San Diego, officials said. Military teaches discipline, hard work and dedication, Newmont recruiter Jeff Perkins said. Newmont has created an online portal
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designed for people with a military background. Potential employees enter their military occupational specialty and seek job openings that cater to their field. Newmont matches pay differential for soldiers who deploy, Perkins said. In addition to pay benefits, the company offers continued insurance for family members of deployed military, including medical, dental and vision. They also offer programs to help troops returning from deployments. “We appreciate their service to this company and their country,” Tompkins said. “If there is anything we can do to support them, we will. There is a pay back obligation there.” Katie Neddenriep, a 12-year resident of Elko, works for Barrick. She is married to
Lt. Col. Kurt Neddenriep of the Nevada Army National Guard. Kurt’s last deployment was in 2009 to Afghanistan and lasted 10 months. While he was gone, she missed her husband, but her employer was there to help, she said. “Luckily I have a great employer who was flexible with me,” Katie Neddenriep said. “I know first-hand that (Barrick is) a proud supporter of the military and their families.” Like Newmont, Barrick’s philosophy has always been to go above and beyond, Neddenriep said. Not only do they offer benefit packages for deployed military, they offer full pay for Guard members during drill weekends. “It is a small thing we can do to show our appreciation,” she said. Elko is fortunate to have strong support from local businesses, especially the mining industry, Elko Assistant City Manager Delmo Andreozzi said. The strength of the mining industry has allowed them to offer good pay, benefits and family support for its guardsmen, he said.
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Mining returns to historic Comstock RENO (AP) — Mining has returned to Nevada’s historic Comstock more than 150 years after the discovery of one of the world’s richest silver veins touched off a frenzy that drew thousands of people west. But unlike the hard rock miners in the 1800s, the modern day operation involves huge trucks that haul ore from a pit mine near Virginia City to a nearby processing site. Comstock Mining Inc. began active operations Wednesday, using seven semi-trucks to haul ore from the Lucerne pit mine at Storey County’s Gold Hill to the company’s processing site 2.6 miles away at American Flat, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported. The company hopes to begin pouring gold and silver by mid-September. Corrado De Gasperis, president and chief executive officer of Comstock Mining, said the company’s revised estimates put identified mineral See COMSTOCK, 132 AP Photo/Sandra Chereb, file
Comstock Mining Inc. wants to begin it's “starter mine,” on this site near Gold Hill. Comstock Mining Inc. began active operations in August, using seven semi-trucks to haul ore from the Lucerne pit mine at Storey County’s Gold Hill to the company’s processing site 2.6 miles away at American Flat.
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Comstock ... Continued from page 131 values at nearly $5 billion. Opponents pledged to keep fighting the mining activity that they say threatens public safety, the environment and one of the nation’s most precious historic sites. “We’re not going anywhere,” said Robin Cobbey of the Comstock Residents Association. “We will continue our efforts to protect this landmark and the health and safety of the public in any way we can.” About a mile of the haul route is on Nevada 342. Critics say it poses a threat to public safety but mining company representatives say it will have minimal impact. Trucks were re-routed to the highway due to a dispute between Comstock Mining and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management over ownership of a parcel of land that is part of an off-highway haul road. Mining company representatives said they are confident all hauling will be routed away from the highway in six to eight months. Since 2003, Comstock Mining acquired property and mining claims across more Corrado De Gasperis than 6,000 acres of the Comstock in what President and CEO of Comstock Mining the company describes as an “unprecedented consolidation” of mineral resources. Wednesday’s startup in Storey County is expected to be followed by mining at nearby Silver City in Lyon County, with that activity possible by late 2014, De Gasperis said. Test drilling conducted by Comstock Mining has revealed gold or silver at virtually every location sampled — some of it highly pure, De Gasperis said. “We’re literally hitting on almost every hole,” De Gasperis told the newspaper. “What we do know is that there is a tremendous amount of gold and silver. We feel like we’re just scratching the surface, honestly.” Project opponents remain highly critical of both the mining company and Storey County officials who they say are bending over backward to accommodate the company’s needs. Division over the project is made clear by signs posted throughout Gold Hill and Silver City. Some read “Stop open pit mining,” others “Mining works for Nevada.” “Just because it’s mining doesn’t mean it’s good for economic development in this area,” said Joe McCarthy, also of the Comstock Residents Association. Comstock Mining’s plans could come at huge cost, potentially changing the face of a hugely important historic area forever and damaging a tourism-dependent economy, McCarthy said. “It could effectively obliterate something that’s very precious to our landscape,” McCarthy said. “It’s the same old bad-tasting wine Nevada has always had to drink but now it’s in a new shiny bottle.” Environmental dangers are associated with historic mining in the area, which led to the area’s designation as Nevada’s only Superfund site, McCarthy said, adding that the operation’s proximity to so many people poses special concerns. “It’s a Superfund site, it’s a national landmark and it’s home to hundreds of residents and businesses,” he said. De Gasperis insists concerns over such issues as mercury contamination from historic mining are overblown by critics and that results of $2 million worth of testing conducted by the company and submitted to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection indicate no such danger. He said one of the company’s long-term plans is to restore historic mining structures in the Comstock now crumbling due to neglect. Comstock’s mining activities, which could last decades, could profoundly improve the economies of Storey and Lyon counties and provide big benefits to the Reno area, as well, De Gasperis said. “It’s literally the resurgence of economic prosperity,” he said.
“We’re literally hitting on almost every hole. What we do know is that there is a tremendous amount of gold and silver. We feel like we’re just scratching the surface, honestly.”
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The fall 2012 edition of the Elko Daily Free Press' Mining Quarterly.