The petition for vested rights to mine the Idaho-Maryland Mine (IMM) in Grass Valley submitted by Rise Gold Corporation was denied by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Thursday, December 14.
Read the full article in The Union.
The current zoning and regulatory processes apply no matter what the reasons for the IMM to shut down over the years, according to Hardy Bullock, Supervisor for District 5.
“In my mind, no mining activity has taken place since the early 50s. There’s clear and convincing evidence in my mind, not just on the Centennial and Brunswick, but the property as a whole,” Hardy said.
Hardy went on to say, “Mining activity, in my mind, is excavation, blasting, tunneling, removing, processing, or the sale of mine products of any kind… That’s what mining is. In my mind, mining is not subdividing mine land into parcels for sale as residential developments. Mining is not selling the land for industrial purposes. Mining is not sawmill or wood products.”
Megan Wold, Cooper and Kirk out of Washington D.C. advised Rise Gold, especially on the issues of the U.S. Constitution and the Fifth Amendment which refers to private property rights among other things.
Abandonment of vested rights is comparable to other constitutional rights, according to Wold.
“We require affirmative evidence of abandonment before we think someone has abandoned a Constitutional rights,” Wold said.
Ralph Silberstein, President of the Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation) commented on the inevitability that the County will now be sued by Rise Gold Corp., and a Resolution drafted and made public on the second day of the hearing is preparing for that lawsuit.
“We’re pleased that the Council did the right thing, and turned down this vested rights petition, and weren’t intimidated by the threat of a bunch of high powered lawyers from the East Coast threatening to sue,” Silberstein said.