Midas Gold: Mining & Environment Can Work Together
By Laurel Sayer
Mining powers our lives every day. It possible for you to drive to work, answer a phone call or send an email. While most of us do these things daily, many of us rarely question how cars, cell phones or computers are made or where the minerals needed for their production came from.
In a globalized economy, it is easy to push the uncomfortable elements of producing the goods we want out-of-sight and off-shore. In this process, we lose sight of how the things we want are made. But more importantly, we forfeit any influence over the process including labor conditions, ethical considerations and environmental practices.
At Midas Gold, we want influence over the process and we want to help make the goods we use in an accountable manner. We are working to bring responsible mining back home to Idaho.
We are proud to stand with generations of hardworking men and women who have produced the minerals we needed to move our country forward. During WWII the Stibnite mining district produced the tungsten and antimony needed to keep our soldiers safe. While their efforts protected our nation and helped us grow, our industry has evolved and understands the important role we must play in environmental stewardship. We are at the leading edge of that effort. We believe mining and the environment can work together to address the problems that continue to plague the historic Stibnite Gold District after more than a century of mining.
Today, the region is a brownfield site. The East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River dumps into a mining pit blocking fish passage, water quality is threatened by metals from historic mine tailings that were never properly stored and each year hundreds of tons of sediment enter the river at the site of a failed power dam.
To be clear, mining created the problems facing the site today. Now, it is time for mining to be part of the solution. And by using responsible mining to redevelop the Stibnite Gold Project, we will have the necessary financial resources to make it happen.
We will reconnect native salmon to their spawning grounds before operations even begin by creating a temporary passage around the existing pit and then rebuild the natural channel of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River starting during year seven of operations. Fish will once again be able to swim upstream and have access to at least 3.4 miles of newly restored habitat and potentially many more miles of currently inaccessible streams. We will repair the damage from a failed dam to permanently keep sediment out of the river. We will also remove, reprocess and properly store the tailings that currently threaten the river and groundwater in order to improve water quality and fish habitat.