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Brandon Stauffer

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October 12, 2012
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Idaho-Maryland Mine would only benefit community

How could anyone possibly be opposed to the Idaho-Maryland Gold Mine for Grass Valley? At the Nevada County Fair, I saw a booth set up by Claim-GV to “Stop the Mine.”

The scare tactics used by Claim-GV are disappointing to say the least, and it is clear to see why they only get support from a handful of people. When questioned about obvious mistruths and exaggerations, they can’t answer simple questions, can’t defend their claims, and they take no responsibility in correcting misinformation if it fits their anti-mining agenda.

They have no ethics, and for them, stopping the mine means the “end justifies the means” and “don’t let the truth get in the way.” Do your own research and separate the fact from fiction. Think twice about supporting them. The Idaho-Maryland Mine will make the city of Grass Valley proud and be a model to other mining projects — not just in California but globally.

The mine will clean up a legacy mine site and install a water treatment plant that will treat existing mine drainage that is currently going into Wolf Creek. Traffic will be managed and relatively unnoticeable and any impacts involving water quality or well de-watering will be fully mitigated. A Nevada Irrigation District Water System will be installed by the mine prior to de-watering to ensure water supply to wells in the vicinity of the mine should they be impacted by de-watering.

With the many regulatory agencies dictating how the mine will operate, this would be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly mining project in California since the Gold Rush of 1850. Everything we use today in our lives comes from mining, except what we eat. From the concrete under your favorite Starbucks to the gold and silver necessary to make cell phones work. There is even sand in your toothpaste from mining. Gold is not a useless metal and has so many uses as in computer electronics, advanced vehicle emissions controls, safety devices like air bags, space technology, medical technology and dentistry.

It seems most people don’t know these facts, and they are not taught in most schools anymore.

We in the mining industry try to educate the public about the benefits of mining. We are proud to see our hard work and responsible use of our land resources providing a modern comfortable life for us, our kids and generations to come. We are the real environmentalists, working to minimize the impact of mining while at same time recognizing the importance and need for mining in our society.

Claim-GV talks about “Mining’s Toxic Legacy” when bashing the mine. This shows their hypocrisy. The EPA’s Toxic Inventory, which tracks industries in the U.S. , shows that toxins from mining are almost entirely from metals in the waste rock and mine tailings deposited in waste dumps and tailings impoundments at operating mine sites (they never leave the mine). Idaho-Maryland Mine actually eliminates waste dumps and tailings impoundments at its operation by producing construction aggregate and recycled green building products. This technology could lessen mining’s impact globally in a variety of industries at other locations. Anti-mining groups should be lining up to support this mine if they were really environmentalists.

Mining companies give so much back to the communities — far above tax revenues for the cities, counties, state and federal governments. When the economy was good, the mining company I work for gave back to the community by funding local school kids in so many ways, as well as paying for and donating to parks, schools, etc. Any local school kids who asked for help were helped with funding education projects, trips, 4-H and FFA that school budgeted tax money would not. Improvement projects for safety or education that the schools had no budget for were always helped out. These benefits from the mining companies often go completely unnoticed by the slice of the community who just wants mining stopped.

Grass Valley can have green jobs, high-tech jobs, tourism jobs and mining jobs. Where Claim-GV says, “Green, Not Gold,” I say, “Green and Gold!”

I would be proud to put my kids to work at this mine. I know the mine will not cause any negative impacts in this town where I raised five children.

The only changes we will notice from this project are a boost in fantastic range of jobs, a boost to existing businesses that are suffering, increase in real estate values and much-needed tax revenue to our government, a legacy mine site being cleaned up at no cost to taxpayers and a proud mining heritage continuing in Grass Valley .

Brandon Stauffer lives in Grass Valley.

Anti-mining groups should be lining up to support this mine if they were really environmentalists.


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The Union Updated Nov 16, 2012 12:03PM Published Oct 23, 2012 02:29AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.