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Work under way to house miners expected at Eureka

Pat Patera

The Mount Hope molybdenum mine 23 miles northwest of Eureka is expected to triple the town’s population over the next four to 10 years, says Trish Reynolds, a program assistant with the Eureka County Economic Development Program.

The town’s head count of 400 may swell to 1,000 or 1,500 people.

To house the growth, Eureka Moly LLC,

a subsidiary of the mining company General Moly LLC, will build Eureka Canyon subdivision. It’s contracted with Ames Construction to develop the neighborhood infrastructure, while a private developer will build the housing.

The 120-acre site of the subdivision is part of 160 acres adjacent to Eureka that the town bought from Bureau of Land Management for just such a growth spurt.

Jim Evans, community development coordinator and county planner, says the site initially will provide housing for temporary construction workers before it transitions into homes for permanent workers.

The county engineer designed the initial plans last year, and Reno-based Summit Engineering is handling plans for the infrastructure phase.

Eureka expects the Mount Hope mine to bring more than miners.

“We are hoping the mine will attract retail and mining support companies,” says Reynolds. “We’ve already seen an influx of contractors and mortgage-

related people like brokers.”

And the mining company has already installed nine new units at a mobile home community, the first of 34 homes it plans, says Zach Spencer, general manager of external communications.

“We’re working closely with Eureka County and the Prospect annexation area and the Eureka Canyon annexation area, three miles north of town by the county fairgrounds,” he adds.

Ames Construction, based in Salt Lake City, will do the dirt work for housing, he adds, while M3 Engineering, based in Arizona, will handle construction and management of engineering and production on the mine site.

Mount Hope Mine is expected to employ 400 when fully operational, says Spencer. Meanwhile, some employees will need housing when production begins, about this time next year.

And those miners won’t be a flash in the pan.

“We expect a 44-year mine life,” says Spencer.

Many workers will also commute from Elko, Spring Creek and Carlin. It’s not unusual for employees at mines to ride the bus an hour and more each way.

Publicly held General Moly is headquartered in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, Colo.