Published Oct. 25, 2012
Romarco Minerals, which is attempting to revive the Haile Gold Mine in Lancaster County, reported today that completion of a draft environmental impact statement has been delayed.
The Army Corps of Engineers notified the mining company that the scheduled date for the completion of the draft, Dec. 14, will not be met.
The primary reason for the delay, Romarco said, is that the draft needs to reflect a new mine layout and needs to better assess the potential effect of mining on surface and groundwater.
On its website, the Army Corps said its deadline for the environmental statement draft “was based solely on the limited information available to us at that time.”
The agency has made more than 300 requests for additional information to date and Romarco has recently revised the project, the Army Corps said.
Romarco said its redesign reduces wetlands impact by 25% and stream impacts by 32%.
"We continue to work closely with the corps, the third-party contractor, cooperating agencies and interested parties with the goal of moving through the EIS (environmental impact statement) process as quickly as possible without compromising the accuracy and thoroughness of the analysis and documentation required,” said Diane Garrett, president and CEO of Romarco.
Earlier this year, Garrett and her team had been looking at a schedule that called for construction of production facilities to begin in September.
However, those plans were revised in May after the corps publicly postponed the completion of an environmental impact statement for the federal 404 Wetlands permit.
Mining of the site cannot begin until Romarco obtains this permit. Other pending permits include, but are not limited to, the State 401 Water Quality Certification and the State Mine Operating permit.
“With a third quarter cash burn of less than $10 million and a current cash position of $71 million, we continue to conserve cash and to take the actions necessary to advance through the permitting process and position the company to finance, build and operate the Haile Gold Mine," Garrett said.
Total gold resources at the mine near Kershaw stand at 4 million ounces — both measured and indicated — plus another 800,000 ounces of inferred resources, according to Romarco.
Gold was first discovered on the 4,000-acre site in 1827 and operated intermittently through the 1980s. Romarco acquired the property in late 2007 and reopened the mine in 2010.