Newmont gold ore project north of Carlin gets BLM nod

ELKO -- The federal Bureau of Land Management has approved a Newmont Mining Corp. project that will provide a new supply of gold ore north of Carlin.

The BLM signed the record of decision and modification of the plan of operations for Newmont's Genesis Project last week, the Elko Daily Free Press reported.

"We are delighted. ... The advancement of the Genesis Project through our internal project pipeline supports our growth strategy and will allow Newmont to sustain jobs along the Carlin Trend," said Jerry Pfarr, Newmont's director of environmental permitting.

The project includes expanding the existing Genesis open pit, developing a new pit and expanding two waste dumps. It calls for backfilling two pits, then partially backfilling the Genesis pit as mining progresses over a 12-year mine life.

According to the BLM's environmental impact statement, the backfilling will eliminate any pit lakes at the end of mining.

The agency says roughly 687 people will be employed at Genesis each year, and the project's total disturbance will be 1,092 acres.

Newmont plans to mine 60 million tons of gold ore and 455 million tons of waste rock over the project's life.

Reclamation will be con­current as much as possible, with all disturbed areas in the Genesis Project reclaimed within two years of completion of mining operations, the BLM said.

Up to seven years of monitoring for success of vegetation reclamation will follow.

The Carlin Trend is one of the world's richest gold mining districts.

It is a belt of gold deposits about 5 miles wide and 40 miles long around Carlin on Interstate 80, about 270 miles east of Reno.

The value of gold this spring reached a record of roughly $1,500 per ounce.