Mine appeal launched

Nevada ranchers and Native Americans are appealing a lower court ruling allowing a Eureka County molybdenum mine to go ahead to a federal appeals court.

Great Basin Resource Watch and the Western Shoshone will take the appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.

On July 23, U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones rejected an effort by tribes and ranchers to stop a Mt. Hope molybdenum mine planned by General Moly, Inc. The litigants had argued that the mine would put pressure on scarce water and despoil the environment. Jones found that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management had accounted for water and environmental impacts.

“We own the closest private property to the project in two directions,” said rancher Carolyn Bailey in a prepared statement. “Our ranch and farm are located close enough to Mount Hope to be adversely affected by the mining caused impairment of our air, increased heavy truck traffic, and the very real damage to our business from the massive pumping and resulting drawdown of groundwater. Our water is not infinite.”

After Jones issued his decision, General Moly CEO Bruce Hansen said in a prepared statement that the corporation was still seeking financing for the operation. On Sept. 25 its shares opened at $0.79. It holds an 80 percent interest in the Mt. Hope project.