Majority support Idaho-Maryland Mine, Rise Gold survey states
Rise Gold Corp. is pleased to report strong public support from the Nevada County community for the reopening of the historic Idaho-Maryland gold mine (the “IMM Project”), located on the company’s private land in Nevada County.
A recent survey of Nevada County conducted by J. Wallin Opinion Research demonstrates strong local support for the IMM Project and provides insight into community issues and priorities. A majority (59%) of respondents supporting the reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine with only 34% of respondents opposed. Majority support for the project is consistent across all of the county’s five districts, which are each represented by an elected supervisor. According to the survey results, respondents indicated jobs and economy, wildfires, homelessness, and affordable housing were among the top issues facing the community.
Most respondents (66%) had previously heard of the IMM Project proposal. A majority of those surveyed believe that the Nevada County Board of Supervisors should approve the IMM Project (58.4% Yes; 33.8% No) with “yes” significantly outweighing “no” responses in all demographic groups, including district, political affiliation, gender and age.
“These survey results indicate consistently high levels of support for the Idaho-Maryland Mine project,” said Justin Wallin, chief executive officer of J. Wallin Opinion Research, in a press release. “The fact that a strong level of majority support was maintained after hearing arguments both for and against the proposed reopening of the mine shows public support is robust and resilient.”
The survey was conducted from June 10 through June 17, with a sample size of 500 Nevada County voters. The sample was stratified, meaning that the demographic composition of the results matches the demographic composition of the region surveyed. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.4%.
Nevada County is currently processing the company’s use permit application to authorize the reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine and a majority of the five elected supervisors must ultimately vote to approve the project. The project’s strong constituent support in every supervisorial district is very encouraging. The company is awaiting the release of the draft environmental impact report (the “DEIR”) by Nevada County and remains confident that this independent scientific study will be favorable due to the modern environmentally sensitive design of the IMM Project.
The release of the DEIR will be a major milestone in the use permit process and the company anticipates that it will be released this summer. The document will provide analysis and conclusions on the environmental impacts of the project based on numerous technical studies and expert review.
A general outline of remaining milestones in the use permit process is outlined as follows;
1) Draft environmental impact report is published for public comment;
2) After review of the public comments on the DEIR, Nevada County publishes a final environmental impact report (the “FEIR”) which will include responses to public comments;
3) The Nevada County Planning Commission holds a public hearing to consider the FEIR and makes a recommendation on the IMM project approval to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors;
4) The Board of Supervisors holds a public hearing to consider and make a final decision on the IMM project. A majority vote of the five supervisors is required to approve the project.
The timeline to complete the use permit process is largely dependent on the Nevada County government. The most recent EIR process completed in 2019 by Nevada County was the Boca Quarry Expansion. In this case, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved the project approximately five months from the release of the DEIR. Based on this recent precedent, the use permit process for the IMM Project could be completed by the end of 2021.
The IMM project is a past producing gold mine which produced 2,414,000 ounces of gold at an average mill head grade of 17 gpt gold from 1866-1955. The IM Mine was the second largest lode gold producer in the United States before being forced to close under War Production Board Order L-208 during World War II. The mine produced a substantial amount of gold in the years before the forced closure. In the two years before closure, 1940 and 1941, mine production averaged 920 tons per day with a mill head grade of 0.38 oz per ton (12.9 gpt) and 121,000 ounces of gold production per year.
The company recently completed 67,500 feet (20,600 meters) of exploration core drilling at the IM Mine. Numerous high-grade gold intercepts have been encountered, both near the existing mine workings, and to depths significantly below historic mining areas. The company believes its drilling program has been successful but cautions investors that no current mineral resources or mineral reserves have been defined.
The company’s submission of an application for a use permit from Nevada County requires information regarding planned throughput and material quantities. The company cautions investors that no technical report has been filed to demonstrate that this rate of production can be achieved. The company has not completed a feasibility study to establish mineral reserves and therefore has not demonstrated economic viability of the IM Mine. The company has not made a production decision for the IM Mine.
The use permit application proposes underground mining to recommence at an average throughput of 1,000 tons per day. The existing Brunswick Shaft, which extends to ~3400 feet depth below surface, would be used as the primary rock conveyance from the underground mine. A second service shaft would be constructed by raising from underground to provide for the conveyance of personnel, materials, and equipment. Gold processing would be done by gravity and flotation to produce gravity and flotation gold concentrates. The company would produce barren rock from underground tunneling and sand tailings as part of the project which would be used for creation of approximately 58 acres of level and usable industrial zoned land for future economic development in Nevada County. A water treatment plant and pond, using conventional processes, would ensure that groundwater pumped from the mine is treated to regulatory standards before being discharged to the local waterways.
Source: Rise Gold
In your own words, what do you feel is the most important issue facing your community today?
Affordable housing 9.4%
Public safety 8.8%
Education/schools/higher education 3.4%
Environmental issues 3.0%
Other (each less than 2% individually) 12.4%
Nothing/no issues 1.0%
I am going to read a list of several issues that may be facing your community. Please listen to each and then tell me which THREE issues should be the top priorities for Nevada County’s elected leaders? Choose three.
Keeping our community safe from wildfire 40.6%
Fixing homelessness 33.0%
Helping to ensure housing remains affordable for locals 28.8%
Improving local schools, education, job training and after-school programs 24.0%
Protecting the community from crime, gangs, drugs, graffiti 22.8%
Reducing local unemployment and creating better, local jobs 17.4%
Ensuring a reliable supply of clean drinking water 14.4%
Improving local infrastructure like roads and bridges 14.0%
Protecting and preserving our forests and natural outdoor space 11.8%
Addressing the local impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic 11.6%
Improving air quality and a clean local environment 9.4%
Creating more opportunities for youth in the community 9.4%
Ensuring a healthy County budget and finances 9.2%
Reducing traffic congestion 9.0%
Creating more opportunities for seniors in the community 6.2%
Improving and adding new parks, greenways and open space 4.6%
Something else 2.6%
Would you be willing to consider supporting a new mining operation in Nevada County if it provided [NAME THE THREE SERVICES RESPONDENT IDENTIFIES IN Q3] to your community?
See the complete survey here
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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…