Goldstrike mining could rise again; BLM holds public meeting

Composite image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE –  A proposal for mineral exploration in the Goldstrike mining district has the potential to bring gold mining back to the historic area. The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on the proposal and will be hosting an informational meeting Monday at 5 p.m. at the Dixie Center St. George.

Map of proposed drill sites and new roads in the Bull Valley Exploration Project | Image courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News
Map of proposed drill sites and new roads in the Bull Valley Exploration Project | Image courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

The Pilot Goldstrike Inc. Bull Valley Exploration Project would explore for minerals, primarily gold, at the site, which is located about 30 miles northwest of St. George.

The project is within the historic Goldstrike District and would include exploratory drilling; road, drill pad and sump construction; and the maintenance of pre-1981 roads, according to project documents.

There are no all-terrain vehicle trails in the area, BLM Color Country District spokesman Christian Venhuizen said, although there are public roads. Possible impacts to hunting and other outdoor recreation activities in the area are being evaluated by the BLM.

The Bull Valley Mountains/Goldstrike district was first discovered in the late 1800s with production peaking around 1910, according to project documents.

The district then sat idle until the 1970s when there was renewed interested in the area by several different operators. Widespread exploration in the district included about 1500 drill holes and an extensive road network, according to project documents.

By the late 1980s, enough resources had been discovered to support building a mine. The former Goldstrike open-pit, heap-leach gold mine was developed and mined by Tenneco Minerals Company from 1988 to 1993. Then it was sold to USMX of Utah Inc., which closed the mine shortly afterward and finished reclamation work in 1996.

Map of proposed drill sites and new roads in the Bull Valley Exploration Project | Image courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News
Map of proposed drill sites and new roads in the Bull Valley Exploration Project | Image courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News | Click to enlarge

The USMX operations included 11 pits, four mine dumps, a crushing plant, heap leach facility, a carbon recovery plant, smelting facility and an alkaline chlorination facility.

Nearly 400 acres were disturbed within the permit boundary. Closure and reclamation included backfilling the pits, removal of facilities, regrading and revegetation.

Public input

The public scoping period for the Pilot Goldstrike Inc. Bull Valley Exploration Project began Aug. 15 and ends Sept. 14. The BLM invites public comments on the scope of the analysis and issues to consider for the proposed project.

A public scoping meeting will take place Monday from 5-7 p.m. at the Dixie Center St. George, 1835 South Convention Center Drive in St. George.

The meeting will be an open house format with BLM personnel available to explain the environmental review process, the mining regulations and other requirements. Representatives of Pilot Goldstrike will be available to describe the proposal.

For more information about the project, see the BLM’s e-Planning website.

Written scoping comments for the environmental assessment must be postmarked or otherwise hand-delivered to 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, UT 84790 by 4:30 p.m. on or before Sept. 14. They can also be faxed to ATTN: John Kellam at 435-688-3252 or emailed to jkellam@blm.gov.

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • beacon August 23, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    AG Sean Reyes and others complain about EPA’s involvement in the Gold King mine disaster last year after mine operators left a mess for EPA to clean up with our tax dollars after the mine company took their profits. Just today a river in American Fork was polluted with sludge discharged from a mine operation up there. Uranium tailings that are still being cleaned up along the Colorado River near Moab are still sucking up millions of our tax dollars. There are many superfund sites remaining in Utah already. Is this really something that we need in our county? Citizens who are concerned should attend the Monday meeting and speak out during the public comment period.

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