State kicks back gold mine plan |

State kicks back gold mine plan

A state agency wants Alleghany’s Original Sixteen to One gold mine to redo its plan to study the mine’s discharge into Kanaka Creek for mercury possibly left from past mining and naturally occurring arsenic.

“Your plans for mercury and arsenic studies are not adequate… Board staff recommends that you obtain the services of professionals,” stated an April 30 letter signed by Richard McHenry, senior engineer with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Rae Bell, the mine’s office manager, hadn’t yet received the letter Friday, but said the mine has submitted test results for mercury and arsenic from 1986 to 1998.

“How much data do they need? We all know there’s arsenic in the water. As far as we know, there’s not a mercury problem,” Bell said.

The mine is considering removing arsenic from the discharge water by laying down arsenic-absorbing iron shavings in the discharge shaft.

“To me, that’s where we should be putting our money, into a solution, instead of submitting more data,” Bell said.

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