Great Basin Gold Ltd, announces that the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection/Bureau of Mining Regulation and Reclamation (NDEP) recently issued one of the key permits needed for a full-scale underground mining operation by its wholly owned subsidiary, Rodeo Creek Gold Inc. (RCG), at the Hollister Development Block Project in Elko County, Nevada. The NDEP Water Pollution Control Permit (WPCP) authorizes a maximum production rate of up to 275,000 tons of ore per year as well as engineered waste rock storage and ore stockpile facility, synthetic lined water management ponds, a reverse osmosis water treatment facility, and other ancillary facilities.
Before RCG can expand its current underground activities to reach the production rate authorized in the Water Pollution Control Permit, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must approve RCG’s amended Plan of Operations. BLM’s permitting process will include preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed expansion of the underground activities inclusive of appropriate mitigation measures to minimize the identified impacts.
Great Basin Resource Watch (GBRW) has filed an appeal with the Nevada State Environmental Commission challenging NDEP’s issuance of the Water Pollution Control Permit. The appeal will be heard in February 2009.
Ferdi Dippenaar commented, “We are pleased and welcome the issuance of the permit by the NDEP. The Hollister Project has made good progress in infrastructure development that will ensure that the interests of stakeholders are heard, and the environment is protected. Our amended Plan of Operations was submitted to the BLM in April 2008 and the Completeness Review was concluded by October 2008. During December 2008, the BLM indicated that the environmental analysis required for the amended Plan of Operations will be an environmental impact statement (EIS). We are currently in discussions with the BLM to determine what levels of ongoing exploration and trial mining would be allowed during the completion of the study.”