Last updated 12:11PM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Commissioners Delay Mayday Mine Approval
(2008-09-10)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A decision on allowing a controversial gold mine crushing and milling operation in LaPlata canyon has been delayed for one week.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: Two dozen people, mostly LaPlata Canyon residents, signed up to speak at yesterday's Board of County Commissioners Public hearing on the crushing and milling operation in the Mayday and Idaho mines.
A California Company, Wildcat Mining, first proposed two years ago to reopen the mines and process ore.
At the time, residents voiced strong opposition, expressing concerns about noise, impacts on wildlife and the LaPlata River and more.
Wildcats officials have spent the last two year working with county planners and others to address those concerns, which were still on the mind of residents at the hearing.
COMMENTS: THE MAIN ISSUE HERE IS SOUND POLLUTION, DISRUPTION OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF COURSE, WE ALSO FEEL THE CHARACTER OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD WILL CHANGE DRAMATICALLY. THERE'S WILDLIFE ALL AROUND THAT AREA. BEFORE THEY WERE EVEN THERE, THERE'S A GREAT ELK HERD THAT SITS AND GRAZES RIGHT AROUND THE MILL, I HAVE NOT SEEN THEM SINCE THEY HAVE BEEN THERE.
The Commissioners raised several concerns as well.
Commission Chair Joelle Riddle wants to know more about the Mine Safety and Health Administrations inspection of such mines.
RIDDLE: THE LAST THING THAT I WANT TO DO IS ENTER INTO ANOTHER AGREEMENT WITH ANOTHER ENTITY THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE REGULATING SOMETHING THAT IS PART OF OUR HOME, THAT WE HAVE NO CONTACT WITH. SO I WANT SOME ANSWERS ABOUT THIS ENTITY AND HOW WE GO ABOUT ASKING THEM SOME QUESTIONS. THAT'S A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE FOR ME.
Commissioner Wally White is worried that limiting the operation to a neighborhood noise level of 55db may not be adequate.
WHITE: I DON'T THINK THE MAYDAY COMMUNITY ACTUALLY FITS WHAT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED A NORMAL RESIDENTIAL AREA AND CONSEQUENTLY MAY NOT GENERATE WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED A NORMAL RESIDENTIAL LEVEL OF SOUND.
There's also concern the road accessing the mine would be inadequate, and whether its design falls under federal or local jurisdiction.
Wildcat's agent, Adam Vega, told commissioners they've worked hard to insure the mine has minimal impact on residents of the LaPlata Canyon and the small town of Mayday.
VEGA: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TECHNIQUES, IT HAS VERY LITTLE IMPACT ON THE SURROUNDINGS, THE TRAFFIC THAT WILL BE GOING IN AND OUT OF THERE.
After almost 5 hours, commissioners voted to continue the public hearing until next Tuesday.
At that time they expect to receive more testimony at that time about access roads, debris, cleanup plans and more, after which they could vote on whether to allow the return of gold milling for the first time in 20-years in the Mayday and Idaho mines.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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