Permitting

Making Mining a Reality

Before the Stibnite Gold Project can move forward, the federal government must review our plan under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Then, we must earn more than 50 permits from federal, state and local agencies and set aside millions of dollars to guarantee reclamation.

NEPA is designed to make federal agencies consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of any proposed projects on public land. Community members can be involved by providing comments about our project.

If you’d like to learn more on the permitting process, please check out this reference card we’ve created.

The Project Timeline

To ensure the Stibnite Gold Project benefits the environment and the community, and before any mining can begin, we will continue to build on the years already spent planning, consulting the community and working with state and federal regulators. The regulatory process includes obtaining more than 50 permits, licenses and approvals. We must earn every authorization we receive and we must meet or exceed strict standards. Public input is critical to the process.

Stay informed on the permitting process and have your voice heard by visiting the U.S. Forest Service website here.

Exploration

Exploration

During exploration, our goal was to determine if the project would be economically, environmentally and socially feasible. It is.

We identified the site as a world-class source of gold and antimony, right on our doorstep here in the United States.

We dedicated years to studying the environmental needs of the site and engaging community members and stakeholder groups. We gathered ideas, listened to concerns and found solutions.

Pre-Feasibility Study

Pre-Feasibility Study

In 2014, we released our Pre-Feasibility Study, which compiled our research, outlined the best ideas for mining and identified areas that needed further investigation.

You can read an executive summary of our
Pre-Feasibility Study .

Plan of Restoration and Operations

Plan of Restoration and Operations

We provided our Plan of Restoration and Operations, known as the PRO, to the U.S. Forest Service in 2016. This comprehensive plan outlines how we will mine the Stibnite Gold Project site and progressively restore the area.
You can view our plan summary here or visit the U.S. Forest Service website here.

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Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental Impact Statement

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is the result of an environmental review of the Plan of Operations conducted by the U.S. Forest Service to assess the impacts and benefits of the Stibnite Gold Project. The agency will release the EIS, along with its Record of Decision, after a thorough technical review and considering public input.

Permitting

Permitting

After the U.S. Forest Service publishes their EIS and a Record of Decision, we must then earn more than 50 permits, licenses, approvals and authorizations from federal, state and local agencies. During the permitting phase, we must also calculate and set aside enough financial assurance that will ensure the ultimate completion of the approved restoration.

Construction

Construction

Before we begin construction, we will set aside millions of dollars in a trust for reclamation of the site. The construction phase is the time when we will clean up the impacts from historical mining activity. We anticipate construction will take three years and employ 400 people directly and also indirectly create another 300 jobs in the community.

Mining

Mining

Before any mining begins, our project design will ensure we repair many areas damaged decades ago. Once construction is complete, we anticipate the mine will operate for at least 12 years and directly employ up to 500 individuals and also support the creation of another 500 jobs in the community. During mining, we expect to recover gold and antimony.

Before any mining begins, our project design will ensure we repair many areas damaged decades ago.

Reclamation and Closure

Reclamation and Closure

We will put aside the necessary financial resources in a trust to make sure reclamation happens. Substantial repair of historical impacts will occur alongside construction and mining, but completely restoring the site will take time. Our reclamation plan includes ongoing work during mining, then dismantling the buildings on site, restoring the natural habitat and monitoring and protecting the health of the area for years after mining has ended.

How NEPA Works

Step 1: Federal Agency Submits a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement

Since some parts of the Stibnite Gold Project will take place on federally-managed public land, we needed to submit a plan to the U.S. Forest Service, the lead federal agency on our project. The NEPA process started when the U.S. Forest Serviceannounced it would prepare anenvironmental impact statement (EIS) for the project and give the community an opportunity to comment on the proposed plan.

In our case, there are also many other state and federal agencies working to review the project, including:

  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • NOAA Fisheries
  • Fish and Wildlife
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Idaho Office of Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
  • Idaho Department of Lands
  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game
  • Idaho Department of Water Resources

Step 2: Agency and Public Scoping

Scoping identifies important issues that need to be addressed in the EIS. The U.S. Forest Service did an internal review on our project and then asked individuals and organizations to submit comments and provide recommendations during June and July 2017. Important issues that came to light through public feedback were project footprint size, public access through site and transmission line location, as well as concerns about protecting water quality and fish populations and habitat. After listening to this feedback, we’ve since submitted a number of alternatives and modifications to our original plan to the U.S. Forest Service that reduce the footprint of the project, provide seasonal access to site and reroute the transmission line away from residential property were possible. We have also submitted detailed plans for protecting and enhancing water quality, fish populations and habitat.

Step 3: Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement

We are currently waiting for the U.S. Forest Service to complete a draft EIS (DEIS) for the Stibnite Gold Project. The DEIS will include an analysis on how the proposed project will impact the environment and how we can offset or avoid those impacts. The DEIS will also include alternative proposals to the original Plan of Restoration and Operations.

Many changes are made throughout the permitting process. Read our blog to find out why the process was designed so plans can continue to be refined.

Step 4: Public Comment on the draft EIS

As soon as the U.S. Forest Service releases the DEIS, they will invite the public to comment on it. If restoring the site is important to you, write to the U.S. Forest Service during the public comment period. Input during this period can influence the final design of the project.

Click here if you want us to alert you when the comment period starts.

Step 5: Final EIS is Released

As soon as the public comment period ends, the U.S. Forest Service will look at the comments they received and conduct any additional analysis needed to prepare the final environmental impact statement. The final EIS must address all substantive comments received during the comment period.

Step 6: Record of Decision

After all the steps above are completed, and an immense amount of data has been evaluated and the public has weighed in, the lead federal agency will publish their Record of Decision. This will give us the blueprint we must follow for the life of the Stibnite Gold Project. Once the Record of Decision is released, the community will know exactly how we must operate the site, including the restoration and reclamation work we must complete.

Step 7: Financial Assurance

Before we can commence construction of the mine, agencies will determine how much money we will need to set aside to complete the important reclamation and restoration work at the site. Midas Gold and the lead regulatory agencies will take the Record of Decision, look at all of the outlined activities, and calculate how much it would actually cost an independent contractor to complete the restoration work. This amount will be set aside in bonding before construction or mining can begin.

Want to know more about financial assurance? Read our blog to learn more about changes Idaho’s recently made to enhance protection of our lands.

Step 8: Permits

The Record of Decision to begin mining is not the end of working with federal, state or local agencies. We still are required to obtain over 50 permits for various aspects of our operations. These permits provide additional checks and balances to make sure we have the right plans in place to ensure the project is done right.

Only after we receive a Record of Decision and obtain all of the necessary permits, can the Stibnite Gold Project officially begin and start producing gold and antimony.

Learn more about the permitting process by visiting the U.S. Forest Service’s website.

Get all of the facts on our proposed Stibnite Gold Project.

Learn More

PLAN OF RESTORATION AND OPERATIONS

We delivered our Plan of Restoration and Operations to the U.S. Forest Service in 2016. Regulatory agencies are currently reviewing and refining the plan as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and will release a draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review once this review is complete.

Below are the chapters of the plan and you can learn more about the permitting process here.

We are more than happy to meet with you to discuss our plans and answer any questions. Please reach out to us at community@midasgoldinc.com or stop by our Donnelly office.

Executive Summary

Chapter 1, Introduction

Chapter 2, Midas Gold’s Core Values

Chapter 3, Socioeconomics and Workforce Requirements

Chapter 4, Past Mining and Mining Related Legacy Issues

Chapter 5, Restoration and Mitigation

Chapter 6, Environmental Protection

Chapter 7, Operations: Offsite Infrastructure

Chapter 8, Operations: Site Preparation and Onsite Infrastructure h

Chapter 9, Operations: Surface Mining

Chapter 10, Operations: Ore Processing

Chapter 11, Operations: Thickened Tailings Management

Chapter 12, Operations: Project Logistics and Materials Handling

Chapter 13, Operations: Exploration

Chapter 14, Restoration, Closure and Reclamation

Chapter 15, Monitoring

Chapter 16, References

Chapter 17, Acronyms, Glossary and Scientific Terminology

Appendix A-G

 

Materials

View All Materials

How to Submit Comments

Your next opportunity to comment on the Stibnite Gold Project will be when the U.S. Forest Service releases its draft Environmental Impact Statement.

When it is released, you can submit written comments to the U.S. Forest Service.

Typically, community members have 45-days to submit their comments. Federal agencies are looking for comments that address specific elements of the proposed project and not just personal opinions. These comments provide new information that can help further analyze the plan.

When the comment period opens, we will provide a link on this page that will allow you to easily provide your feedback on the project to the U.S. Forest Service. You can also sign up with us to receive notice when the comment period opens.