The permit applications that were submitted last year are finally coming to fruition and the potential wait for review of applications may be coming to an end. This Monday, on the 12th of April, we are meeting with the representative from California Fish and Game and the Forest Service at the mine site to identify any endangered frog species that might found in the area. Although we have not found any of the endangered frogs in the last 20 plus years, they are required to check and make sure there aren’t any present. After the field survey, the permit from Fish and Game should be forthcoming by the end of April.
Samples from the mine have been sent out to a lab for testing as required by the Regional Water Board. Their rules dictate that the material be tested for leachable metals and organic compounds that might contaminate the waters of the state. These contaminants include things like Arsenic, Chromium, Lead, and Mercury, which are known to be toxic at certain levels. We do not anticipate that there will be any issues with the leachability of metals in the tests, which should be completed and data returned to us during the week of the 12th of April. Then the permit application to the Regional Water Board will be complete and we anticipate the approval issued soon thereafter.
In addition, we have continued communications with the Forest Service representative and they have completed all of their field work for the NEPA evaluation of the Revised Plan of Operations submitted in December 2020. The Forest Service is working to wrap up the NEPA evaluation so that they can issue the approval for the Plan of Operations. However, they are waiting on approved permits from the State Departments to be issued prior to completing the approval process.
All in all, things look to be on track to have all of the permits and Forest Service approval in June of 2021, hopefully around the first of the month so we can commence mining activities. As soon as permit approvals start being issued, I will provide another update.
Tom Heathman, President