Restore the Site: We Mean What We Say

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Restore the Site: We Mean What We Say

When Midas Gold says we have plans to restore the site, we mean it! Those aren’t just words to us, it is a guiding principle that is at the forefront of every decision we make. This year, I was honored to speak at the Idaho Lands Summit to talk about the work Midas Gold is doing in Valley County and address some false criticism head on.

Over recent years, greenwashing has become an increasingly popular phrase. For those of you who do not know, greenwashing is when a company tries to make themselves look more environmentally friendly by making false or unsubstantiated claims. This phrase was a topic of discussion at this year’s summit and I was even asked if Midas Gold’s plans to restore the site could be considered greenwashing. My answer was simple – nothing could be further from the truth.

We have been developing a plan for how to restore the historic Stibnite Gold Project site since 2011. For those of you unfamiliar with the project, mining first took place in the area more than 100 years ago and continued for many years – during times when very little oversight and regulations existed. Today, the headwaters of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River flow directly into an abandoned mine pit and millions of tons of historic tailings lay exposed and untreated. The area needs to be repaired.

Over the last five years, we’ve collected lots of information to understand the problems with the environment in the area, the types and quantities of minerals in the region and what we can do to help restore the region. In the process, we’ve cleaned up more than 30 tons of historic scrap metal at the site, planted more than 45,000 trees and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars studying wildlife in the region.

Mining the Stibnite Gold Project provides a solution to restore the area. We can repair the region as we re-mine the areas where that have already been disturbed. We will reprocess historic tailings, backfill old pits and complete restoration in tandem with mining.

There are also strict regulations in place today to ensure the environment is protected. We cannot operate a mine unless we do it the right way. It takes seven to 10 years of review and community discussions, more than 50 permits and setting aside the hundreds of millions of dollars we need for reclamation before mining can begin. That’s not greenwashing. It’s doing things the right way.

In my experience, actions speak louder than words. I think our efforts say volumes about the type of company we are and our commitment to doing what is right for the environment and the community.