Wednesday, April 4, 2012
SPECIAL REPORT: General Moly (GMO) Hearing - "Packed house..."
Adella Harding's Elko Daily Free Press Article:
Judge hears arguments over Mt. Hope (April 5, 2012)
It is 6:04 AM. We will interrupt our usual daily market report to bring you the latest on the Nevada District Court hearing held yesterday at the Eureka County Courthouse on the ongoing General Moly (Eureka Moly LLC) water rights issue. Let Old Miner Woden pour you a hot cup of Raine's Red Label and let's get started...
SPECIAL REPORT: General Moly Hearing
The next leg of the ongoing water rights conflict between General Moly and Eureka County unfolded yesterday in our 1879 courthouse on Main St. Unfortunately, I was out of town but received an e-mail from a faithful follower of this report at 9:56 AM, "Packed house...Indications are potential for 2-3 months on a decision, but you never know." Big news in these parts.
If you are just coming up to speed, there has been multi-year debate between General Moly and the Eureka County Commissioners together with a dedicated group of ranchers and farmers over water usage in the nearby Diamond and Kobeh valleys. General Moly plans to mine molybdenum at Mt. Hope which lies 22 miles north of the Eureka townsite and sits astride both valleys and their respective water basins. Moly mining is a water intensive process and the local ranchers and farmers are concerned that an additional water burden will adversely affect their livelihoods in an area that is already feeling the effects of water depletion.
The Elko Daily Free Press carried the Commissioner's viewpoint after their recent rejection of a "Good neighbor" offer by General Moly to resolve the conflict and avoid yesterday's hearing:
Eureka County Commissioners affirm support for individual rights (Elko Daily Free Press, submitted by EUREKA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, Wednesday, March 28, 2012 11:22 am)
The specifics of the offer are given in a General Moly press release posted earlier this month:
General Moly Presents Good Neighbor Offer to Eureka Stakeholders (Press Release)
Zach Spencer, General Moly's media point man, called me around 4:00 PM yesterday to summarize the highlights of the hearing. Zach informed the Eureka Miner that there were about 40 folks in attendance with Judge Papez presiding over the small courtroom not unaccustomed to resolving mining disputes for the last 133 years.
The proceeding began at 9:00 AM. The lawyers representing General Moly and the appellants were "cordial" with the latter presenting points of their case first. According to Zach, "brevity was the key" as briefs had already been exchanged and both the Judge and those in attendance are very familiar with the case. After a short noon recess, The General Moly lawyer presented their side and Deputy Attorney General Bryan Stockton represented the State Water Engineer.
There were at least two local journalists in attendance: Mining Editor Adella Harding of the Elko Daily Free Press and Mining Quarterly and reporter Rudy Herndon of Winnemucca Publishing who submits stories to the Humboldt Sun, the Battle Mountain Bugle and the Lovelock Review-Miner. The Eureka Miner will update this special report as their articles become available.
Judge Papez will take the matter under advisement with both parties having the opportunity to produce further findings of fact and conclusions of law 20 days after the hearing transcript becomes available. The consensus estimate of 2 to 3 months appears to be the best guess for a final ruling. My comment to Zach was, "I hope this is over and done before Eureka's Fourth of July Parade."
With respect to the latest General Moly schedule, Zach expects the Record-of-Decision (ROD) for the Mt. Hope Molybdenum Mine to be this August with mine construction commencing in the fall. Although an unfavorable ruling may produce adverse consequences for General Moly, it is not presently standing in the way of other permitting processes. Also the recently ordered 18 CAT 793s are not needed for the initial work, first delivery is anticipated for late 2013 - early 2014 (Zach will check the actual delivery dates with General Manager Mike Iannacchione).
The Eureka County Commissioners meeting Friday, April 6, in the Commissioners’ meeting room at the County Courthouse will discuss mining housing. Per their agenda:
10:50 – EUREKA CANYON SUBDIVISION – Ron Damele, Public Works Director, and Mike Iannachionne, General Moly
1. Report on the intentions of General Moly (EMLLC) for use of a portion of the Eureka Canyon Subdivision commercial property to be used for EMLLC’s temporary construction worker housing. Discussion and possible action will include timeframes, types of temporary housing, fees and costs, infrastructure requirements, and possible conflicts with existing or proposed development of the overall site, and all matters properly relating thereto. (Action)
11:00 - NEVADA RURAL HOUSING AUTHORITY – Gary Longaker, Executive Director, and Tom Stone, Real Estate Mgr.
1. Review and discuss proposed Eureka Canyon Agreement between NRHA and Eureka County for multifamily modifications and single family settlement. (Discussion)
2. Discuss, approve, deny, or modify the Eureka Canyon Agreement between NRHA and Eureka County. (Action)
The Eureka Miner respects the views of all miners, farmers and ranchers and their valuable contribution to Eureka County and looks forward to a resolution of the Mt. Hope water rights issue that provides an equitable solution for all concerned.
Please watch for further updates throughout the day.