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Panning for support over mine; Rise Gold and advocates spar over level of opposition to plans to reopen Idaho-Maryland

Opponents of the Idaho-Maryland Mine on Tuesday slammed Rise Gold Corp, claiming that the company sent duplicate copies of positive notes about the mine during a public comment phase.

Members of MineWatch Nevada County, a coalition of anti-mine advocates, took turns speaking to the Board of Supervisors during its public comment period.

They alternatively emphasized what they called the community’s opposition to the mine and alleged Rise Gold dunned the county with duplicate comments.



Mine opponents also presented supervisors with a petition with 5,500 signatures — 4,714 of them Nevada County residents — from people who don’t want the mine.

“We are quite certain a majority of our community oppose the mine,” said Ralph Silberstein.



The environmental impact report isn’t yet complete, a necessity before the project can proceed. No vote has been set by supervisors for final approval of the mine project.

Christy Hubbard, a Community Environmental Advocates Foundation volunteer and MineWatch leader, said Tuesday’s comments stemmed from a Rise Gold press release issued last month. That release, dated June 29, states that out of some 2,850 comments received on the draft EIR, about 1,600 of them supported the mine project.

“You’re claiming that the vast majority of the people were in favor of the mine?” Hubbard asked rhetorically after the board meeting.

Other mine opponents claimed their email addresses had been used to submit comments in favor of the mine.

“Not just once,” said Sharon Delgado, “but three times.”

Jarryd Gonzales, spokesman for the Idaho-Maryland Mine project, said duplicate comments exist on both sides of the mine issue.

“Those numbers were taken from the county,” he added, noting that 56% of the comments favored the mine. “What you’ll find is there are more duplicates on the side of CEA or MineWatch.”

Concerning opponents’ emails being used in support of the mine, Gonzales said an email was sent to the county whenever someone visited the project website and completed a support form.

Alan Riquelmy is the managing editor with The Union. He can be reached at ariquelmy@theunion or 530-477-4249


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