The proposed development and expansion would result in the disturbance of approximately 7,097 acres, which would be located primarily on public land managed by the BLM. The Proposed Action would consist of the expansion and/or development of 15 open pits; 27 rock disposal areas; eight heap leach facilities and associated process facilities; ancillary and support facilities (e.g., growth media stockpiles, communication sites, monitoring wells, transmission line corridors); and access and haul roads.
The life of the mine would extend for 80 years including construction, operation, reclamation, closure, reclamation monitoring, and post-closure monitoring.
The agency preferred alternative is the Western Redbird Modification Alternative. The BLM selected this alternative because it both meets the BLM Purpose and Need and the Operator’s Objective (as described in Chapter 1 of the EIS), while providing for the long-term sustainability of the natural and cultural resources in the affected environment as mandated by FLPMA. The Western Redbird Modification Alternative does this by 1) reducing overall surface disturbance affecting multiple resources (by 56 percent as compared to the Proposed Action); 2) eliminating the potential baseflow reductions to the South Water Canyon and JBR No.14 springs expected under the Proposed Action and Reconfiguration Alternative; 3) minimizing impacts to mule deer by maintaining more mule deer migration corridors than under the Proposed Action and wider migration corridors than under the Reconfiguration Alternative; 4) reducing impacts to GRSG habitat and leks in comparison to the Proposed Action and Reconfiguration Alternative through a reduction in surface disturbance; 5) minimizing impacts to wild horses within the Triple B Herd Management Area with 35 percent less forage reduction and no flow reductions anticipated for area springs compared to the Proposed Action; and 6) reducing visual impacts at the Pony Express Trail, Ruby Lake NWR, Fort Ruby National Historic Landmark and other key observation points as compared to both the Proposed Action and Reconfiguration Alternatives.
The Project was originally proposed by Barrick Gold US Inc., but has recently been purchased by Kinross Mining Inc.
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