No clarity from Cougar Gold



I attended the Cougar Gold Mining Company presentation at the Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday in Bridgeport. Thanks to Hap Hazard for running a very efficient and respectful meeting, and to all the Supervisors for their thoughtful comments and questions. The bottom line message from Cougar Gold Mining seems to be — we want you to support removing the Wilderness Study Area designation from this area where we want to mine (Paramount Mine/Rough Creek).
Even though we can legally apply to BLM for a mining permit under the existing law, we don’t want to deal with more layers of environmental regulation. If you, Mono County, don’t do this for us, we will take our toys and go home.
An interesting message, especially since Cougar Gold Mining representatives had just proudly shown the audience photos of how they carefully followed environmental regulations during their initial drilling phase.
If you are going to mine in such a special place, it must be done right. Cougar Gold, under grandfathered rights, could submit a plan to the BLM , continue exploratory drilling, and move on to mine development. The mining executives stated they need the CLARITY of knowing they don’t have to work within a Wilderness Study Area , to make the RISK worth it.
I ask Cougar Gold, as I did at the meeting. Where is the clarity for Mono County and the Bodie Hills?
You are not providing any details of size of the mine, mining processes, depth, whether cyanide will be used,will this be an open pit mine, transport of ore, whose communities the trucks will go through, how many jobs, or ANYTHING. You only say the WSA designation needs to go (which only an act of Congress can do) before any more information is provided. You knew when you bought the mining claims in 2004 that the WSA existed– you decided to take the risk. You will probably just turn around and sell your rights, which would become much more valuable if the WSA is removed, to yet another mining company in a long line of companies that have been poking around the old Paramount diggings site for years.
We here in Mono County want to be good stewards of the land, and if mining is going to happen, it had better be done responsibly. Cougar Gold Mining Company needs to be honest and open about their plans and quit acting like a spoiled child, who threatens to leave if they don’t get their way. The health of our landscape, clean air and water, and wildlife shouldn’t be RISKED to a mining company unwilling to provide their own CLARITY.

Janet Carle
Mono City

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