“We’re mining in three different places — the Hartford, Billie the Kid and the Lucerne mining patents in the overall Lucerne Resource area. The Comstock is one of our country’s most historic mining districts. In 1882, it was an open pit operation.” In September, the operation crushed about 5,000 tons of ore a day, Martin said. The ground has a high clay content, so cement is added to allow the cyanide solution to permeate through the heap leach pad, Martin said. The company also uses flat-black hexagonal discs that interlock over the artificial ponds. “They solve two problems we have in heap leach,” Martin said. “We don’t want waterfowl to land on the artificial ponds and the ultraviolet light will destroy the cyanide so it saves us money.” The company expected to hit 1 million tons mined this year on the heap leach pad at some point in November. Expansion Plans Comstock Mining CEO Corrado De Gasperis said the company plans to expand the operation. “Everything being mined right now is on private land,” he said in September. The company received permits to allow it to expand the heap leach and it received a water control permit. The permit increased the site’s capacities and processing rates from a maximum of 1 million tons to 4 million tons per year, according to the company’s third quarter report. The Lucerne Pit production was ramped up to 20,000 gold-equivalentounce annually. It averaged more than 400 gold-equivalent ounces per week for See COMSTOCK, 14
Marianne Kobak McKown/Mining Quarterly
Above: Larry Martin, vice president of exploration and mine development, talks about the operations as a haul truck drives on Comstock mine property in the background. Below left: Comstock Mining uses 40-ton haul trucks. Below right: The conveyor belts move material at the Comstock Mining operations.
WINTER 2013 ELKO DAILY FREE PRESS, Elko, Nevada 13