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Why Say No To The Idaho-Maryland Mine?

Quick Read: Summary of key reasons to say no to the mine — researched and validated by CEA Foundation/MineWatch researchers.


Nevada County has completed both an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and an Economic Impact Report on the proposed Idaho-Maryland Mine project. In May 2023, Nevada County Planning Commissioners voted unanimously against the project and chose not to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). We are waiting for a final vote on the project and EIR by the Board of Supervisors.

Our county is at risk. A Canadian-based company wants to reopen a gold mine under Grass Valley’s feet, changing the character of the community we love and impacting our air, water, and quality of life.

Significant environmental impacts. The mine has significant and unavoidable environmental impacts that are inconsistent with the County’s General Plan and endanger this community's health and quality of life – including aesthetics, traffic, and noise. There are also serious deficiencies in the Final EIR that put the County and its citizens at further risk, including air and water. A few jobs and uncertain tax revenues just aren’t worth the risk. Learn more.

Economic benefits aren’t worth the risk. The Economic Impact Report on the Mine showed a huge range of possible revenue outcomes from very low to very high, making actual revenue potential uncertain. Community experts recently reviewed the report and found that even the low-end numbers were overly optimistic, that real estate estimates were a big miss, and that the possible economic benefits to the community would be overshadowed by a lot of downside risk. Learn more.

Gold mining is a serious threat to wells and area groundwater. Water is a precious resource. All the more so because of continuing concerns about drought.

Why? Rise Gold plans to pump out 3.6 million gallons every day for 6 months and another 1.2 for up to 80 years. Mine dewatering risks depletion of our region’s groundwater. It puts the health of wells and creeks at risk. The Final EIR did not address serious deficiencies identified by expert reviewers. Its claim that impacts won’t be significant aren’t supported. Learn more.

Nevada County already gets an F rating when it comes to air quality and has 2 times the average in lung disease. Reopening the mine will make it worse.­

Why? Even using today’s best technology, fugitive dust from continuous rock crushing, hauling, and compacting risks release of asbestos and silica particles. The huge increase in diesel truck trips amplifies the problem. The Final EIR’s conclusion that air quality impact would be ‘less than significant’ is unsupported. Learn more.

Nearby residents will see reduced quality of life and lower property values.

Why? Nearby residents will share the roads with large trucks carrying mine waste, feel the effects of underground blasting, and hear the sounds of rock processing, loading, spreading, and compacting. Over 75 acres of woodlands will also be replaced with industrial buildings and engineered fill. The Economic Impact Report’s assertion that property values wouldn’t decline was a big miss. It failed to recognize local realtor expertise or use acceptable home appraisal methods. Local realtors say it will have long term, detrimental effects on property values. Learn more.

A yes vote for the mine is a no vote for climate change.

Why? Mining operations would generate a staggering amount of new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Rise Gold would generate over 9000 metric tons annually from the Grass Valley site, plus another 4000 if you include the cement manufacturing that would be done elsewhere. The Final Environmental Impact report chose an outdated “threshold of significance” that doesn’t align with current state and federal recommendations. The correct threshold should be “net-zero”. Learn more.

Mining is a toxic business that requires compliance monitoring we’re not set up to handle.

Why? Mining is a hazardous business and most "compliance" measures are either self-reported or not monitored at all. The community needs to be able to trust that onsite safeguards are in place and that continuous testing is being handled by a trusted third party. Most of the compliance managed by our county today is “by complaint only” and handled with a very small staff. The mitigations described in the Final EIR do not address these significant gaps in regulatory protection. E.g., Read: No State Monitor for Mine and Forever Issues Plague Mines.

The company that wants to open the mine can’t be trusted.

Why? Rise Gold is a 16-year-old company that has never opened a mine and never made a profit. The trustworthiness of Ben Mossman, the former Rise Gold CEO who drove this project until September 2023, has been a major cause of concern. His last company polluted tribal waters, went bankrupt, and left Canadians with a bill to pay for cleanup. Mossman was found guilty in Canadian court of 13 charges of environment crimes related to spills at that mine in July 2023 and was sentenced for those crimes with fines on September 27, 2023. Since arriving in Grass Valley, Rise Gold has also made a number of questionable and misleading claims that have been widely criticized by the community. Learn more.

Even people who generally support mining are against this project.

Why? Two reasons: 1) The project is too close to an established community which creates a much higher level of risk if bad things happen. 2) Gold is not a high priority mineral to support the growth of green technology or medical science. We already have enough gold sitting in vaults to support that for generations to come.



Our handy online tool makes it easy to let Nevada County decision makers know what you think of the mine. Send a letter.


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Why Say No - General Talking Points 02042023
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