September 25, 2018 – Yet another Canadian junior mining company wants to re-open the abandoned Idaho-Maryland mine (IMM) in Grass Valley.
Rise Gold, a junior mining company based in Canada, has begun exploratory drilling, and at this early stage they have already been called to account for violating the 100’ setback from South Fork Wolf Creek and failing to abide by the county’s erosion control requirements.
Rise Gold disregards the fact that hard rock gold mining in a populated region that is surrounded on all sides by homes, businesses, and schools, is in no way compatible with the community that Grass Valley has become.
Grass Valley WAS a mining town, and the scars from that era are still visible today, more than 60 years later. The mining that took place here between 1850 and 1957 released enormous amounts of toxic contaminants, some of which are still present at high levels in the watershed. The underground mineral map for the IMM covers 2800 acres from Glenbrook Basin, to the airport, to the Y at Brunswick & Hwy 174, and under the Sierra Nevada Hospital.
Our community dodged a bullet when the last foreign mining junior, Emgold, pulled up stakes and blew town. Setting aside for the moment the environmental destruction that inevitably comes with mining, the risks to private wells, the decline in value for properties located near the mine, and the probable contamination of Wolf Creek, our city and county representatives should be wiser now to the fact that temporary jobs in a dirty boom/bust industry like gold mining are poor substitutes for cleaner industries with staying power and the ability to contribute to long term economic resiliency for Grass Valley.