Comstock Mining, BLM announce hauling on land instead of highway

Comstock Mining Inc. and the Bureau of Land Management announced Thursday that interim mining company hauling will be allowed on land in Storey County, reducing the impact on highways.“Use of this haul road segment will minimize disruption to the community caused by the use of the state route by semi-trucks,” the BLM Nevada State Office and Carson City Sierra Front Field Office said in a statement.The BLM said it and Comstock will continue moving forward on an environmental analysis of the mining company’s right-of-way amendment application.“This is a strong, positive example of a private-public partnership working diligently and effectively for the entire community at large,” said Corrado De Gasperis, Comstock president and CEO. The company was relieved to remove trucks from State Route 342, he said.Different highway-rated vehicles will be used; they will travel a shorter distance and carry larger loads, reducing traffic on American Flat Road and the state route, the company said.Use of the state route and other roads in the Virginia City and Gold Field areas had prompted the Comstock Residents Association recently to criticize what they saw as the breaking of a “gentlemen’s agreement” that such roads wouldn’t be used by company hauling vehicles.“CMI is ravaging the landscape and history of the Comstock,” Joe McCarthy, a spokesman for the residents’ association, said in a statement issued Monday.The Comstock Residents Association, a public-interest group representing the residents of Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City and Dayton, replied that the agreement isn’t enough. “Continuing to allow CMI to despoil our historic landforms and cultural landscapes without filing even a basic ‘Mining Plan of Operation’ is reprehensible,” the association said in a statement.“We will continue to fight for an even more robust process. CMI should be required to participate in a full programmatic Environmental Impact Study that should include input from the National Park Service, the State Historic Preservation Office, The Nevada Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental protection Agency. Too much at stake. The ramifications of this open pit mining operation must be known before is too late.”


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