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12/13/2012 6:00:00 AM
20 jobs expected when mine reopens

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

The process to open the Chloride Copper Mine, formerly known as Emerald Isle, has been drawn out over the last year, but it's getting to the point where those involved can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sierra Resource Group, the Nevada-based mining company working to re-establish the mine, hired Paul C. Rizzo Associates, Inc. to deal with the Bureau of Land Management's permitting process, which starts with the Mine Plan of Operations.

Known as an MPO, the document outlines everything Sierra plans to do with the site, from mining and milling to reclamation. Once submitted, BLM reviews it and, if needed, requests revisions.

"There's been a lot of revisions made to the document over the last year," said Buzz Todd, lead geologist at the BLM Kingman office and the one in charge of Sierra's permitting process.

"But we're very, very close to having a technically complete document."

Todd took charge of the case in September. Sierra thought its MPO had been accepted by BLM that same month, but Todd, who has many years of experience, re-opened the case for additional review.

A better review lends itself to a better product and leads to fewer environmental impacts, he said.

The most recent MPO revision was submitted Dec. 8. Based on what he's seen, Todd expects for Sierra to have a completed MPO no later than mid-January.

After that's complete, the parties involved will turn their attention to the National Environmental Protection Act-required environmental assessment.

This part of the process should be easier than the MPO process because issues expected to come up in the environmental assessment were considered while going through the MPO process, Todd said.

"We've been trying to address environmental issues throughout," Todd said.

The environmental assessment allows Sierra to propose mitigation of significant environmental effects to less-than-significant levels. The proposal will be based on what's been outlined in the MPO.

Todd expects Sierra to have a complete environmental assessment to present to the community for comment no later than mid-February.

"They're doing real good," Todd said of Sierra and Paul C. Rizzo Associates' involvement in the process. "I've enjoyed working with them."

Todd explained that the process Sierra has gone through up to this point is no different than what other mining companies go through.

"The interactive process has been positive and continues according to the schedule laid out by BLM," said Rod Martin, Sierra's CEO. "It's been very smooth, primarily because of what Paul C. Rizzo Associates and the BLM both bring to the table."

The company expects to hire 20 people to work the mine once it begins operations. Some of those are high-level positions. Martin said those are being filled with a staffing service.

For truck drivers and all other labor-based positions at the mine, Martin said Sierra plans to start hiring in April.

Jobs will be advertised in local publications and the community will get a heads up once Sierra is ready to start filling the 18 labor-based positions, Martin said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Harris

County has over 200.000 according to 2010 census.

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: Tj Denton

Anon anon, way to be an optimist. Must be muserable. Anyways what would you recommend? What is it with you liberals and hating private business?

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

20 jobs in a county with over 100,000 folks guess thats going to help 20 familes!

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: justanobody sr

nancy r......
I have a water well, and am concerned about the pollution dumped into our water!
just as guardian fiber glass turned off there scrubbers at night, so will these clowns! when no one is looking , they will dump illegally ! and only a fool would expect otherwise!
and yes my grass shack is very cozy, thank you.

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: That's Normal

@ Tj Denton

Cool, then you won't mind moving next door to it and get your water strictly from the water table there? Do I have to remind everyone what it will be like in 10, 20, 30 years down the road!

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: Nancy Rodriguez

To justanobody sr:

I take it that you live in a stick hut, with no electricity, and live by the light of the sun and moon.

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: Rolls Eyes

Yay Obama! Let's give Obama credit for this!

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: Tj Denton

I cant waaaait for this mine to open!!

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: Site Steward

This is nothing more than a lucrative tax-write off scheme because when the El Paso Natural Gas Company reopened that mine reopened in 1967 (when it should have been left abandoned for good since WWII) then all of sudden shut down in 1974 when it served their purpose.

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: That's Normal

"allows Sierra to propose mitigation of significant environmental effects to less-than-significant levels."

We'll see how that works out for the County in say, "10 years" or so.

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: justanobody sr

Yea, continue to develop this major contaminating business,
one that uses MASSIVE amounts of water, and dumps poison chemicals into the ground, just duvall does!

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