Billy Packard: The murky waters of mining |

Billy Packard: The murky waters of mining

I read the article on Rise Gold about their promises on water treatment. “It may make water have a musty odor.” Andy Kopania, a hydrologist hired by Rise Gold Corp, said, “Though unpleasant, water containing these naturally occurring minerals is not bad for one’s health.”

Right! Drink up!

What was particularly disappointing about The Union article was what wasn’t said pertaining to the water aspect of the Rise Gold project. Hidden from view when driving by is the old mine that is filled with water contaminated with byproducts of hard rock mining. The water now forms a murky lake several hundred yards wide. Rise Gold plans to pump out 3.6 million gallons of water every single day for six months and after that another 1.2 million gallons a day for up to 80 years from this site.

Let that sink in. Get your mind fully around this. This is real.

They will dump this water into the little creek alongside the site and send it on its way down Wolf Creek to the Feather River to the Sacramento River to San Francisco Bay with a “damn the consequences” attitude.

There are many more issues besides the water, but for now the one I’d like to present is the results of Mossman’s previous endeavors in his home country, Canada. In particular Mossman as CEO and Dick Meckert as chief geologist will be standing trial for spillage at their former mine, at which they declared bankruptcy. This is after polluting land outside their mine.

Is this what we want for our beloved Grass Valley?

Grass Valley was once a wasteland from mining. Evidence of it is everywhere. A walk through Empire Mines Park reveals countless piles of debris that while partly grown over are obvious. Parts of the park are still considered too hazardous for the public because of pollutants. This is what Rise Gold reopening of the mine would likely reproduce. I think Rise Gold is an ecological disaster waiting to happen.

Billy Packard lives in Grass Valley.

Editor’s note: Water discharge must meet federal and state standards of at least secondary drinking water quality by regulation.

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