Mike Shea: Too good to be true | TheUnion.com

Mike Shea: Too good to be true


Wow, if we believe everything Rise Gold and Ben Mossman tell us, reopening the Idaho-Maryland Mine sounds like a great deal! But, can we believe technical reports that they and their investors paid for?

All you have to do is type “distorted science” into your internet browser to find numerous examples of how industry-funded studies can misrepresent or distort their findings. I suspect the companies performing studies for Rise Gold do the same thing.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Rise Gold had a biological assessment done on 129 acres at the Brunswick site where the mine and processing facility would be based. The results of the assessment were reported in an October 2020 document.

That report stated, “The field survey did not record any observations of deer.” This is no doubt an accurate statement if it means the botanist didn’t see any actual deer. But any deer hunter walking the property would have noticed the deer trails, scat, and bedding areas located there. It’s pretty unbelievable that the botanist didn’t see any of this.

Yet they chose to word their report in such a way to give the false impression that there are no deer on the property. They could have said, “There are numerous signs that deer live on the property, but no deer were observed.” See the difference?

The survey goes on to say, “The Brunswick area does not contain any known major deer migration corridors, known deer holding areas, nor critical deer fawning areas.”

Well if they didn’t see any deer, of course they can conclude all that. I live next door to the property and can attest that bucks, does and their fawns live there, along with many other animals — rabbits, skunks, squirrels, coyotes, raccoons, and the occasional bear.

But who will our county supervisors believe? Me, a homeowner, or Rise Gold’s paid botanist?

Would Rise Gold submit a report that doesn’t support reopening the mine? There’s no way we can know. And isn’t it strange that all the potential issues their report did identify were either “less than significant” or things that could easily be mitigated?

They want to build an industrial-scale processing facility and underground gold mine and run it for 80 years, but nothing is going to go wrong. No fires, floods, tunnel collapses, toxic atmospheric contaminants, dust or gas explosions, or premature blasts? That’s not realistic.

Rise Gold doesn’t want to open a mine here for our benefit. They hope to make the corporation’s owners and investors rich. They will do what other corporations do to make money and cut costs where they can. (In case you weren’t aware, both Rise Gold Corp. and Rise Grass Valley Corp. are not incorporated in California, they are both incorporated in Nevada where there is no state income tax.)

And the motivation of those of us against the mine? We aren’t doing it for financial gain. We are trying to protect the place where we live and that we love.

In his June 8 op-ed in The Union, Ben Mossman claims that the majority of information given by people who oppose the mine is “either biased or misleading and based neither on science nor logic.” Seems like the same could be said for him.

Mike Shea lives in Cedar Ridge.

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