US Court Blocks Huge Gold Mine Project In Nevada

December 3, 2009

Author: Scott Sonner

Original Source: The San Francisco Chronicle


A federal appeals court on Thursday temporarily blocked construction of a massive gold mine project in northeast Nevada that critics say would harm the environment and ruin a mountain that several tribes consider sacred.

In a rare legal setback for the mining industry in the nation's largest gold-producing state, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction to force Barrick Gold Corp. to postpone digging a 2,000-foot deep open pit at the Cortez Hills mine.

Nevada trails only China, South Africa and Australia in terms of worldwide gold production.

In reversing an earlier ruling, the judges in San Francisco said the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately analyze the mine's potential to pollute the air with mercury emissions and dry up scarce water resources in Nevada's high desert. The project is located on Mount Tenabo, about 250 miles east of Reno.