Mining for time: Public meeting, comment period extended for Idaho-Maryland Mine project


The PG&E laydown yard set up at the site of the Idaho-Maryland Mine, has been busy with crews dropping off thousands of pounds of damaged electrical infrastructure.

A special meeting of the Nevada County Planning Commission about the Idaho-Maryland Mine project has been postponed to 9:30 a.m. March 24.

The meeting will be at the Board of Supervisors chambers at the Eric Rood Administration Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City.

Additionally, the public comment period about the draft environmental impact report has been extended to 5 p.m. April 4 in order to allow the public a total of 91 days to submit comments, a Nevada County news release states.

According to Nevada County senior planner Matt Kelley, the extensions are due to the mass power outages experienced this winter.

“A lot of residents lost power and internet capabilities, so we looked at that and we had some requests from folks to consider an extension so we made the decision to extend the comment period mostly because of the winter storms that happened,” said Kelley.

Jarryd Gonzales, spokesperson for Rise Grass Valley — which seeks to reopen the mine — said the company sympathizes with Nevada County residents affected by the power outages during the winter storm, which caused the postponement.

“We support full public participation in the draft environmental impact report process, and we encourage every resident to read the document. The Idaho-Maryland Mine will provide tremendous economic benefits to Nevada County with minimal impacts,” Gonzales said.

Betsy Brunner, communications director for the South Yuba River Citizens League, stated that the organization is appreciative of the county’s decision to extend the comment period for the mining project.

“Per our letter sent last month requesting the extension, 60 days was too little to review the 1,070-page document with 40 technical appendices and provide substantive and meaningful comments. For a project that could have a dramatic impact on our community, being thorough and thoughtful is essential, and that takes time.” Brunner said.

The project itself would commence underground mining and gold mineralization processing for the Idaho-Maryland Mine, utilizing a permit lasting up to 80 years.

Following completion of mining and processing activities, the project sites would be reclaimed to open space and land suitable for future development.

To learn more about the project, review documents, view the basic project timeline and sign up for email, visit

Elizabeth White is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

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