Ben Mossman: A response from Rise Gold
Several “Other Voices” submissions have been published in The Union recently regarding Rise Gold and the exploration of the Idaho Maryland Mine.
In our view, these op-eds contain much incorrect and outright false information. We have submitted this column to provide correct and factual information, as set forth below.
WHO IS RISE GOLD CORP?
Rise Gold Corp and its operating subsidiary Rise Grass Valley Inc. are both U.S. corporations. Rise Gold Corp. is a publicly traded company and trades on both the U.S. markets (OTCQB:RYES) and the Canadian markets (CSE:RISE). As a U.S. public company, Rise Gold Corp., is a fully reporting issuer to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and complies with all securities laws and regulations.
Rise has invested over $10 million dollars into Nevada County thus far and owns significant industrial property in the area. Rise is a gold exploration company and our focus is on exploring the historic Idaho Maryland underground mine. The goal of our exploration is to determine if an economic mineral resource exists.
Rise is fully committed to complying with all federal and state environmental laws, and views protection of the environment as an essential part of its operations.
Rise employs numerous registered California professionals to support its work and ensure it is in compliance will all local and state rules and regulations. We employ lawyers, biologists, geologists, and engineers. Rise is in compliance with all regulations and Nevada County ordinances in the exploration and related work it conducts.
MISCHARACTERIZATION OF OPERATIONS
Previous articles have characterized Rise’s current drilling operations as unlawful and harmful to the environment, but this could not be further from the truth. Rise is currently engaged in exploration of mineral deposits deep below the surface, which is consistent with Nevada County’s long-standing industrial designation for the property.
In fact, Rise consulted with Nevada County prior to commencing its operations to ensure it would be fully compliant with all applicable laws and continues to communicate with the County. This deep exploration is done by drilling rock core with a hollow bit lined with diamonds to cut a cylinder of rock approximately 3 inches in diameter. The rock core is then studied by geologists and portions of the core are cut in half and assayed for gold content. Since the core is cut by a diamond bit, there is no hammer as would be common on most other types of rock drills.
There is no discharge of water, drill cuttings, or chemicals from our exploration sites. Consequently, there is no impact whatsoever to creeks or the surface. Water and drill mud recirculate through the drill rods to cool the drill bit and remove drill cuttings from the hole. No toxic chemicals are used, and none are discharged to the environment in this simple rock-drilling process. All of the water and drill cuttings are placed into a large tank on the surface, designed specifically for this purpose. Water is recirculated in the hole and drill cuttings contained in the tank are removed and trucked offsite to an approved landfill.
Once the drill hole is completed, and no longer of use for exploration, it is sealed to ensure that no impact to groundwater from the drill hole is possible.
NOISE IMPACTS MINIMIZED
Rise is in full compliance with Nevada County noise ordinances, including during the nighttime hours.
Rise employs local noise and sound control experts and continuously monitors sound levels from the drilling operation to ensure compliance with Nevada County ordinances. Noise monitoring devices have been employed throughout our property to ensure that we meet County thresholds. Rise has invested significant capital to ensure that its operation is in compliance with the law and to minimize sound as much as possible. This includes containments and insulation on the drilling equipment and the construction of a 24-foot high sound barrier at the drilling site. The sound levels are monitored 24 hours a day and examined and reported on by reputable sound experts, local to the area.
Nevada County noise ordinances include noise limits for industrial-zoned areas and residential areas abutting, which are much lower than in industrial zoning, and Rise is consistently below those limits.
MYTHS ON GROUNDWATER
There has been much discussion about the groundwater currently flooding the Idaho-Maryland mine. Unfortunately, much of the discussion has been hyperbole or complete falsehoods designed to scare the public. The natural groundwater currently in the mine has somewhat elevated iron and manganese.
The water is therefore very similar to the water you might obtain from your own private well in Nevada County. Some have characterized the water in the mine as somehow toxic and dangerous, but this is a complete fabrication. If the mine were to be dewatered, the groundwater would require treatment to bring metal content to meet the state requirements. The state requirements are very strict and the treated water discharged from the mine would have metals content equal to or perhaps less than your drinking water.
The volume of water contained in the mine is approximately 1,200 acre feet and the inflow in the mine, when it was in operation, was approximately 1,000 acre feet per year. Opponents of our exploratory operations attempt to make this number sound enormous and frightening. The reality is that this is a minute fraction of the more than 160,000 acre feet of annual water demand in Nevada County. Approximately 5,000 acre feet of water per year, more than four times the amount of water in the mine, is used solely to irrigate golf courses in Nevada County. The volumes of water in the mine are insignificant to the volumes of water transferred through and used by Nevada County residents.
POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF A MINE
Rise has carefully considered the regulatory environment in Nevada County and believes that an operating underground gold mine could be designed and permitted with no significant negative impacts to the environment and the community. We would not be investing our capital in Nevada County otherwise.
If we do find an adequate resource and proceed with obtaining permits for an underground gold mine, unlike the mining operations of the gold-rush era, consistent with state and federal regulations, the Idaho Maryland Mine would be designed to meet all modern environmental and safety standards with special attention paid to minimizing impacts on the community.
If Rise is successful, Nevada County would benefit from the important economic contributions from such an operation, along with the shareholders of the company.
Fear mongering by anti-development opponents, and implications that somehow a significant industrial project in Nevada County could operate outside the law is ridiculous.
We believe Rise is an important member of the Nevada County community. We are open to discussions about our project and welcome any comments or concerns. More information is available on our website at http://www.risegoldcorp.com.
Ben Mossman is CEO of Rise Gold Corp.
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The many contributors who have expressed their significant concerns about the Rise Gold proposal deserve our thanks. Perhaps it’s time for a bit of summary of a few salient points. Taken together, their arguments present…