Notice of Availability of Final Cortez Hills Expansion Project Environmental Impact Statement, Nevada, 57647 [E8-23251]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 193 / Friday, October 3, 2008 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [NV–060–1990; 08–08807; TAS: 14X1109] Notice of Availability of Final Cortez Hills Expansion Project Environmental Impact Statement, Nevada Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Cortez Gold Mines (CGM) proposed Cortez Hills Expansion Project (project) and by this Notice is announcing its availability. DATES: The BLM will not issue a Record of Decision (ROD) on the proposal for a minimum of 30 days following the Environmental Protection Agency’s publication of a Notice of Availability (NOA) of this document in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Cortez Hills Expansion Project Final EIS are available in the BLM Battle Mountain District Office, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, Nevada, during regular business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Copies are also available via the Internet at www.blm.gov/nvst/en/ fo//battle_mountain_field.html. Electronic (on CD–ROM) or paper copies are also available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Drummond, BLM Battle Mountain District Office at (775) 635– 4000. CGM, on behalf of the Cortez Joint Venture, proposes to expand its Pipeline/South Pipeline Project, an existing open-pit gold mining and processing operation. The Pipeline/South Pipeline Project is located in north-central Nevada approximately 31 miles south of Beowawe in Lander County. The proposed project is located in Lander and Eureka counties: mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada T. 27 N., R. 48 E.; T. 27 N., R. 47 E.; T. 27 N., R. 46 E.; T. 26 N., R. 47 E.; T. 26 N., R. 48 E.; T. 28 N., R. 46 E.; T. 28 N., R. 47 E. The proposed project would require new surface disturbance of approximately 6,633 acres, including VerDate Aug<31>2005 23:33 Oct 02, 2008 Jkt 217001 6,412 acres of public land administered by the BLM Battle Mountain District and 221 acres of private land owned by CGM. Existing CGM mining and processing facilities are located in three main areas in the Cortez Gold Mines Operations Area. These areas are referred to as the Pipeline Complex, Cortez Complex, and Gold Acres Complex. The proposed project would include development of new mining facilities in the proposed Cortez Hills Complex, including development of a new open pit, underground mining, three new waste rock facilities, new heap leach pad, construction of a 12mile conveyor system and modification or construction of related roads and ancillary facilities. The proposed project also would include continued use of existing facilities in the Pipeline Complex, Cortez Complex, and Gold Acres Complex, as well as expansion of existing facilities (pits and waste rock facilities) in the Pipeline Complex and Cortez Complex. The life of the mine would include approximately 10 years of active mining and concurrent reclamation as areas become available, as well as an additional three years for on-going ore processing, final reclamation, and closure. A range of alternatives was developed and analyzed in the Draft and Final EIS to address the concerns and issues that were identified. These include alternate waste rock facility and heap leach pad locations, underground mining only, revised pit design, and the No Action Alternative. The rationale for alternatives considered but eliminated from detailed analysis also is discussed. Mitigation measures have been identified, as needed, to minimize potential environmental impacts and to assure that the proposed project would not result in undue or unnecessary degradation of public lands. In addition, the Final EIS includes an analysis of cumulative impacts, including a comprehensive evaluation of potential impacts to Native American cultural values. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS was published in the Federal Register on December 2, 2005. Two public scoping meetings were held in 2005 in Crescent Valley and Battle Mountain. The Draft EIS was released for public review, with a 60-day comment period, on October 7, 2007. Following release of the Draft EIS, two public comment meetings were held in Crescent Valley and Battle Mountain in November 2007 to solicit additional comments on the document. Comment responses and resultant changes in the impact analyses are documented in the Final EIS. PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57647 Based on the results of the analysis of the Proposed Action for the Draft EIS and in response to public comments, CGM developed the Revised Cortez Hills Pit Design Alternative, which the BLM evaluated as an alternative to the Proposed Action in the Final EIS. This alternative was developed to address long-term stability issues identified for the east wall of the proposed Cortez Hills Pit. The revised Cortez Hills Pit design includes a flatter east pit wall and associated reduction in the size of the open pit, expansion of the underground mining component, and an associated reduction in the size of the Canyon, North, and South waste rock facilities. The Revised Cortez Hills Pit Design Alternative lies within the spectrum of alternatives analyzed in the Draft EIS, and is a minor variation of an alternative analyzed. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6. Gerald M. Smith, District Manager, Battle Mountain. [FR Doc. E8–23251 Filed 10–2–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–HC–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [NM–030–1430–FB; NMNM 120291] Recreation and Public Purpose (R&PP) ˜ Act Classification; Dona Ana County, NM Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Interior. ACTION: Notice of realty action. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has determined that ˜ land located in Dona Ana County, New Mexico is suitable for classification for lease and/or conveyance to New Mexico State University (NMSU) under authority of the Recreation and Public Purposes Act (R&PP), as amended (43 U.S.C. 869 et seq. ). NMSU proposes to use the land as a new satellite campus ˜ for the Dona Ana Community College. DATES: Comments must be received by no later than November 17, 2008. ADDRESSES: Written comments concerning this Notice should be addressed to: District Manager, BLM Las Cruces District Office, 1800 Marquess Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Al Chavez, Realty Specialist at the address above or by telephone at (575) 525– 4350. In accordance with section 7 of the Taylor Grazing Act, as amended, 43 U.S.C. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 193 (Friday, October 3, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Page 57647]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-23251]



[[Page 57647]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[NV-060-1990; 08-08807; TAS: 14X1109]


Notice of Availability of Final Cortez Hills Expansion Project 
Environmental Impact Statement, Nevada

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM) has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for 
the Cortez Gold Mines (CGM) proposed Cortez Hills Expansion Project 
(project) and by this Notice is announcing its availability.

DATES: The BLM will not issue a Record of Decision (ROD) on the 
proposal for a minimum of 30 days following the Environmental 
Protection Agency's publication of a Notice of Availability (NOA) of 
this document in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Cortez Hills Expansion Project Final EIS are 
available in the BLM Battle Mountain District Office, 50 Bastian Road, 
Battle Mountain, Nevada, during regular business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 
4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Copies are also 
available via the Internet at www.blm.gov/nvst/en/fo//battle_
mountain_field.html. Electronic (on CD-ROM) or paper copies are also 
available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Drummond, BLM Battle Mountain 
District Office at (775) 635-4000.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: CGM, on behalf of the Cortez Joint Venture, 
proposes to expand its Pipeline/South Pipeline Project, an existing 
open-pit gold mining and processing operation. The Pipeline/South 
Pipeline Project is located in north-central Nevada approximately 31 
miles south of Beowawe in Lander County.
    The proposed project is located in Lander and Eureka counties:

Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada

T. 27 N., R. 48 E.;
T. 27 N., R. 47 E.;
T. 27 N., R. 46 E.;
T. 26 N., R. 47 E.;
T. 26 N., R. 48 E.;
T. 28 N., R. 46 E.;
T. 28 N., R. 47 E.

    The proposed project would require new surface disturbance of 
approximately 6,633 acres, including 6,412 acres of public land 
administered by the BLM Battle Mountain District and 221 acres of 
private land owned by CGM. Existing CGM mining and processing 
facilities are located in three main areas in the Cortez Gold Mines 
Operations Area. These areas are referred to as the Pipeline Complex, 
Cortez Complex, and Gold Acres Complex. The proposed project would 
include development of new mining facilities in the proposed Cortez 
Hills Complex, including development of a new open pit, underground 
mining, three new waste rock facilities, new heap leach pad, 
construction of a 12-mile conveyor system and modification or 
construction of related roads and ancillary facilities. The proposed 
project also would include continued use of existing facilities in the 
Pipeline Complex, Cortez Complex, and Gold Acres Complex, as well as 
expansion of existing facilities (pits and waste rock facilities) in 
the Pipeline Complex and Cortez Complex. The life of the mine would 
include approximately 10 years of active mining and concurrent 
reclamation as areas become available, as well as an additional three 
years for on-going ore processing, final reclamation, and closure.
    A range of alternatives was developed and analyzed in the Draft and 
Final EIS to address the concerns and issues that were identified. 
These include alternate waste rock facility and heap leach pad 
locations, underground mining only, revised pit design, and the No 
Action Alternative. The rationale for alternatives considered but 
eliminated from detailed analysis also is discussed. Mitigation 
measures have been identified, as needed, to minimize potential 
environmental impacts and to assure that the proposed project would not 
result in undue or unnecessary degradation of public lands. In 
addition, the Final EIS includes an analysis of cumulative impacts, 
including a comprehensive evaluation of potential impacts to Native 
American cultural values.
    A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS was published in the 
Federal Register on December 2, 2005. Two public scoping meetings were 
held in 2005 in Crescent Valley and Battle Mountain. The Draft EIS was 
released for public review, with a 60-day comment period, on October 7, 
2007. Following release of the Draft EIS, two public comment meetings 
were held in Crescent Valley and Battle Mountain in November 2007 to 
solicit additional comments on the document. Comment responses and 
resultant changes in the impact analyses are documented in the Final 
EIS.
    Based on the results of the analysis of the Proposed Action for the 
Draft EIS and in response to public comments, CGM developed the Revised 
Cortez Hills Pit Design Alternative, which the BLM evaluated as an 
alternative to the Proposed Action in the Final EIS. This alternative 
was developed to address long-term stability issues identified for the 
east wall of the proposed Cortez Hills Pit. The revised Cortez Hills 
Pit design includes a flatter east pit wall and associated reduction in 
the size of the open pit, expansion of the underground mining 
component, and an associated reduction in the size of the Canyon, 
North, and South waste rock facilities. The Revised Cortez Hills Pit 
Design Alternative lies within the spectrum of alternatives analyzed in 
the Draft EIS, and is a minor variation of an alternative analyzed.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6.

Gerald M. Smith,
District Manager, Battle Mountain.
 [FR Doc. E8-23251 Filed 10-2-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-HC-P