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Eight minerals projects approved by agriculture secretary announced on the Humboldt-Toiyabe

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usfs-logo-282x300-9840650-4921099SPARKS Late last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced his approval of 14 locatable minerals projects in roadless areas on National Forests in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and Washington (www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome, under “Newsroom” tab, last release).  While all nine gold exploration drilling projects were approved for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada, one of the operators recently withdrew their activities in the roadless portion of their project.  Road construction and/or reconstruction vary by project, from 634 feet to 1.6 miles, and the proposed exploration drill holes range between 4 to 13.

Total temporary road construction for the eight projects is 4.8 miles.  “Road construction is necessary to safely access these drill locations, and is incidental to mineral exploration under U.S. Mining Laws,” said Jeanne Higgins, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor.  Such projects usually last for one season, and are fully reclaimed upon completion.  “The Forest Service has worked extensively with the project operators to evaluate alternatives and minimize the amount of road-building within the roadless areas,” said Higgins.

In addition, the Forest Service requires all operators to post a bond to ensure that reclamation occurs prior to final project approval.   A Forest Service certified Minerals Administrator will oversee resource protection and will ensure compliance for each approved project operating plan.

Six of the projects are located in central Nevada on the Austin and Tonopah Ranger Districts; one each is located on the Mountain City Ranger District in northeast Nevada, and Santa Rosa Ranger District in northern Nevada (Winnemucca area).  The eight projects are mostly located on the fringes of roadless and non-roadless boundaries, and some are within old mining districts.

Name                 Operator                      Ranger District          Roadless Area

Quito Meridian Minerals                Austin                         Bunker Hill
Dry Canyon Auex Inc.                     Tonopah                     Table Mountain-East
Green Monster Auex Inc.                        Tonopah                    Table Mountain-East
Uke Electrum Resources      Tonopah                    Table Mountain-Barley Creek
Wagon Newmont Mining Co.            Tonopah                 Table Mountain-East
Ziggurat New West Gold USA     Tonopah                  Northumberland
Merritt Mountain Banner Development            Mountain City         Hicks Mountain
National Century Gold LLC               Santa Rosa                 South Fork Quinn

Learn more about this release by contacting Susan Elliott, Forest Minerals Program Leader, at 775-778-6123, or Forest Public Affairs Officer, Christie Kalkowski, at 775-355-5311.

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