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John Brady: Possibilities with having a mine in your town

John Brady | Other Voices

I have resided in Grass Valley and Nevada City as a builder for 25 years and a Realtor for the past 23 years.

My uncle worked in the Idaho-Maryland Mine for a while. He died at the age of 50 working in a mine. My father worked in lead and silver mines when young in Idaho. He left the mines young to work in insurance. He lived to be 92. Raised an Irish Catholic, his theology was simple — “always stay in the state of grace.“

A local well-drilling expert tells a close friend that likely 300 wells will be ruined quickly by this plan of Rise Gold to pump 3.6 million gallons per day in mine tunnels for six months and then 1.2 million a day for the next 80 years.

Worrywarts fret about mercury, arsenic, lead, cyanide, and dioxin. Practical folk feel these contaminants are no biggie as filters work sufficient to pass monitoring. Watchdogs of purity will transform the heavy metal infested sewer slop (as critics so unfairly designate the water) to class 2 drinking water, allowed to stink mildly and able to rust pipes. A faith-based transformation, fluffed up with science! You get past official tests, so everyone feels better. Worrywarts: play “the Sound of Music” and drink up. Sissies,repeat this mantra: “Thank God for bottled water!” Subsidence could add concern. Learn to tolerate your sinkhole.

An exceptionally severe drought has taken hold of the entire Western part of the USA, including Nevada County. What a time to play Russian Roulette with a stressed water table!

Terry McLaughlin, in The Union, wrote an enchanting article (“Skeptical”) about reopening the Idaho-Maryland Mine. An estimated 1,500 tons of rock per day will be the focus of a “drill and blast regime” 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 80 years.

About 2.4 million yards of tailings and rock waste will be deposited in two locations, apparently in piles about 70 feet high.

Traffic could be challenging with 100 round trips a day of huge trucks with 20-ton crushed rock waste payloads, belching lung-searing dust, and diesel particulate 16 hours a day. A problem for health but with Prozac and gas masks, adaption is a slam-dunk!

In another commentary in The Union, one soil engineer explained convincingly the unstable piles of waste, reaching 70 feet in height, would leach into Wolf Creek and other nearby creeks. This would be a classic massive pollution scene. Please withhold any negativity! After all, mining has always been a little rough around the edges.

Mineral rights for the mine cover 2,585 acres underground and travel from the Loma Rica airport to Glenbrook Basin and to Highway 174 and much of Cedar Ridge.

If this Rise Gold plan to diminish or improve property values for thousands of residents of Grass Valley is approved, 1,800 parcels could contemplate the excitement of being possibly as close as 220 to 500 feet from the mine’s mineral harvesting, a pristine drill and blast operation. The mine owners are eager to promote the modernity of their operation. I understand they will use ANFO (ammonium nitrate and fuel oil) — the modern explosives said to have decimated downtown Beirut in 2020.

World War II ended and the United States recruited Nazi scientists for modern weapons research. Tom Lehrer did a cute song “honoring” one such fellow with this: “Ze bombs they go up / who cares where they come down / That’s not my department says Werner Von Braun.“

Hopefully, Sierra Nevada Hospital will tolerate any possible disconcerting disturbance with stoic discipline. That takes the sharp edge off shock waves of beds rattling and shaky X-ray technology. In mining parlance, “grin and bear it.”

Ben Mossman, the CEO of the fragile penny stock-financed Rise Gold, claims the project is designed to “have no impact on the environment.” Should his project fail, Ben’s future could be bright as a stand-up comedian.

If you think, as so many professionals do, that the supervisors could not possibly be remiss in protecting community interests, think again. If you want to ensure a greater focus on community interests, protect property values, avoid ear-shattering noise and toxic air, encourage tourism, block massive traffic disasters and protect the beauty of our fair city, then contact Minewatch.com.

John Brady is a Realtor in Grass Valley.



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