Greg Martin: An open letter to Benjamin Mossman, CEO, president and director of Rise Gold Inc.
Dear Mr. Mossman:
I read with great interest the front page April 5 article in The Union on Rise Gold’s touting exploratory drilling progress towards the planned re-opening (again) of the Idaho Maryland Mine in Grass Valley.
The Grass Valley community has already been through this exercise years ago with Emgold Corporation’s efforts to re-open the mine. Mr. Mossman would be well advised to consult with Emgold’s former man-in-charge, David Wilkinson, to gauge community opposition to re-opening the mine.
Rise Gold’s exploratory drilling operations continue to impact local residents’ peace and quiet enjoyment of their family homes every day and every night. Ms. Zimmerman’s plight is infuriating and untenable. But for the cost of retaining an attorney and preparing a motion for injunctive relief to protect her property rights, Rise Gold’s 24-hour a day drilling noise is a legal assault that continues without pause. If Rise Gold truly sought to be “community friendly,” it would agree to halt night-time drilling and drill only during daylight hours.
Unfortunately, this is just Rise Gold’s beginning phase of another misguided greed-driven effort by a foreign corporation to operate a mine near the center of town. Residents overwhelmingly rejected Emgold’s (another Canadian venture) effort many years ago. There is no reason Rise Gold should expect a different result today.
Assuming Mr. Mossman, for sake of argument, that Rise Gold’s positive exploratory drilling results lead to corporate plans to try again to re-open the mine, please answer the following production/extraction related questions:
Rise Gold has been drilling to depths exceeding 3,000 feet. Will Rise Gold use underground explosives, and how often, to break up the deposits for hauling and extraction? During Emgold’s time, it was disclosed that shockwaves from the underground mine explosions would present a problem for the nearby hospital’s procedures and operations.
How many heavy transport trucks, on a daily basis, will be traversing Grass Valley streets to haul the rock ore out? What other mechanized ore handling, transport, storage and related process equipment will be utilized on-site? Does Rise Gold plan to de-water existing mine tunnels prior to removing the ore? What is Rise Gold’s plan to provide for area residents whose wells go dry from the de-watering? What is Rise Gold’s production plan for noise/vibration abatement, illumination controls, explosive storage and handling, and 24-hour a day rock hauling along residential streets? What mitigation controls will be employed to address truck traffic, entrained dust, surface runoff and other negative environmental impacts?
We do not understand how vertically suspended “plastic sheeting” (April 5 article) secured to small posts can possibly control and divert runoff. In response to Ms. Zimmerman’s complaints about around-the-clock noise, Rise Gold erected a 24-foot high “fence.” Why didn’t Rise Gold instead enclose the drill rig as much as feasible, a much more effective source control noise reduction measure? While laudable that Rise Gold has made some effort to moderate Ms. Zimmerman’s noise insults, the problem continues unabated. And Rise Gold’s purchase and installation of better insulated sound reducing windows for Ms. Zimmerman’s home, a small cost for appeasement, really is just “window dressing.”
Mr. Mossman, if Rise Gold truly seeks to be “community friendly,” a tremendous number of local residents would welcome a follow up article explaining Rise Gold’s long-term plans, including how Rise Gold expects to address and mitigate the ore production extraction and transport related questions that doomed Emgold’s efforts.
Or we all can wait for the eventual EIR and community review process. Transparency is paramount.
Given Emgold’s history, any plan to re-open the Idaho Maryland Mine in Grass Valley will face monumental challenges from the community and is unlikely to succeed.
Greg Martin lives in Nevada City.
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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…