Mt. Emmons Mine NEPA review may begin soon


From The Crested Butte News (Aimee Brown):

“Theoretically, scoping could be initiated sometime this year,” added USFS district ranger John Murphy. “It will be an EIS, I can guarantee you that.”

Though US Energy’s MPO has not yet been made public, a statement released by the company cites a proposal for an underground molybdenum mine with a 33-year operational life that would produce up to 12,600 tons of ore per day using a vertical blast hole cut and fill method of mining. In addition to the mine, the MPO also calls for a cement mixing plant to be constructed at the mine site to prepare backfill materials; three fresh water reservoirs; and a state-of-the-art lined tailings storage facility.

Companies have been attempting to mine molybdenum deposits on Mt. Emmons since the 1970s, but have faced many economic, political, environmental and social setbacks, and rights to mining claims on the mountain have been repeatedly sold.

Currently US Energy owns 25 patented mining claims consisting of approximately 365 acres of fee land ((define: privately owned?)) and mineral rights within the Gunnison National Forest, as well as an additional 160 acres of fee land. It also holds approximately 1,353 unpatented mining and millsite claims associated with the Mt. Emmons project for approximately 15 square miles of holdings.

More Gunnison River Basin coverage here and here.

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