Permitting 101: What it takes to bring a project to life and how you can get involved

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Permitting 101: What it takes to bring a project to life and how you can get involved

At Midas Gold, we have a vision for the future. We believe that the Stibnite Gold Project offers a rare opportunity to benefit the environment and create economic opportunity through redevelopment of this historical mining district. We can repair the damage from a century of historical mining activity and create a sustainable ecosystem by restoring stream channels, wetlands and fisheries, reforesting an area where almost no top soil remains and improve water quality in nearby streams and rivers by reclaiming historically impacted areas. All of this is possible through the permitting of the Stibnite Gold Project but, to make it happen, we will need the community’s support.

Any mining project must go through a rigorous permitting process. This process involves years of studying the area to be mined, developing a plan that minimizes impacts on the environment, provides a viable long term closure plan and by working with the community to accommodate their interests.

The most significant portion of permitting is done under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – there are also many additional permits that are analyzed outside of NEPA. This is a process that helps federal agencies assess the impacts that projects would have on the environment and the associated economic and social effects. In the case of the Stibnite Gold Project, the U.S. Forest Service is the lead agency and will coordinate the federal and state agencies reviewing the project. The NEPA process also guarantees opportunities for the public to provide input on projects.

In 2016, we submitted our Plan of Restoration and Operations to the U.S. Forest Service. This plan explains how we would redevelop the site and, most importantly, how we would take care of the environment before, during and after operations. Our plan is available on the U.S. Forest Service website, if you want to learn more about it. The U.S. Forest Service has reviewed our plan and determined it is administratively complete, which means the project will now move onto the next phase of the permitting process – the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement.

Before the U.S. Forest Service begins assessing our project, the agency will conduct a process known as “scoping.” This spring, the agency will host public meetings and solicit feedback on the scope of issues to evaluate in the Environmental Impact Statement for our project. We encourage you to attend these meetings and provide comments to the U.S. Forest Service.

After scoping, a great deal of effort will be made to thoroughly study all aspects of our plan and any relevant alternatives to our plan. The U.S. Forest Service will share their findings in a draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS). Once the Draft EIS is complete, it will be made available to the community so you can provide feedback about the project and any proposed alternatives. The U.S. Forest Service will also host a series of public meetings to present the findings of the Draft EIS and again gather public comments.

As the U.S. Forest Service prepares the Environmental Impact Statement, Midas Gold may need to provide more environmental information about the site, or technical studies to support our plans. We all want to make sure the agency decision-makers have all the information needed to make informed decisions about the project.  Any additional information submitted will be posted on the U.S. Forest Service website and available to everyone.

Before a final Environmental Impact Statement is provided, and an official Record of Decision (ROD) is made, the community will have opportunities to provide input. We are committed to keeping the community informed about comment periods so you can make your voice heard.

While Midas Gold works toward a positive ROD from the U.S. Forest Service, we will also need to earn 50 or more ancillary permits, approvals, authorizations and licenses from other federal, state and local agencies. All these requirements exist to ensure only the best projects are permitted and allowed to go into operation– and we believe that the Stibnite Gold Project is one of the best.

We expect that it will take us about two years to complete the EIS, obtain all the permits we need and get the official go ahead from the U.S. Forest Service and other regulators. We are excited to start this phase of the process because we truly believe we have designed a project that can provide significant benefits to our community and to our environment.

If you want more information on permitting the Stibnite Gold Project, please check out our project timeline. If you want to stay informed about the different comment periods, please sign up for alerts by submitting your information at the bottom of this page. The Stibnite Gold Project is truly a community project and we want you to be involved.