CEO Blog - September 15, 2015
Tuesday, September 15 2015 00:00
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Comstock Mining Receives Excellence in Mine Reclamation Award
Recognized for Outstanding Historic Rehabilitation

Last Saturday, our Company was honored with the Nevada Excellence in Mine Reclamation Award! This award represents the positive effects of a Company and a culture dedicated to preserving, protecting, reclaiming, restoring and celebrating the historic district and the communities that live here. When we applied for our first exploration permit in Storey County, we presented examples of prior excellence in mine reclamations because, frankly, that was not always the history of the Comstock Lode District, especially in the late 70’s and 80’s, when laws, ethics and practices were nowhere near what they are today.  The County and community were rightfully skeptical, since history, in this case, was working against us.  But we were committed.

Picture2This award is important for us in so many ways because it honors the standards we have established for ourselves. It shows that the full cycle of mining and reclamation can occur more currently than it did historically, when in some cases reclamations were not done at all and highlights the dramatic progress made in the industry. Perhaps most importantly, it celebrates a quality system, that operates more efficiently and effectively when things are done properly, the first time.

We received the Nevada Excellence in Mine Reclamation Award for the full restoration of the Keystone Mine, in the Comstock Lode Historic Mine District, that represented a full open cut land restoration.   This award recognizes some of the most progressive Nevada miners, elevating the standards of excellence in mine reclamations and restorations.  These recognitions highlight best practices, increase the industry’s (and the public’s) awareness of these sustaining activities, and encourage innovation in reclamation techniques, thus raising industry standards, and resulting in better plans of operation and reclamation.  We could not be prouder of our role in achieving these critical objectives. 

We never considered reclamation sufficient.  We sincerely look to include protection, preservation and restoration when operating in such a precious and historically profound territory.  We were also recognized, along with the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture, for Outstanding Rehabilitation of the historic Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist Works.  The emergency restoration of the Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist Works saved an iconic landscape feature on the National Landmark.  The Foundation, a not-for profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the historic district, identified, facilitated and funded the restoration. 

Our combined award and three others were presented at the Nevada Mining Association Convention. All awards were the result of unanimous decisions by the Awards Committee with members including representatives from the U.S. Forest Service (Elko), Bureau of Land Management (Reno), Nevada Division of Minerals (Reno), Nevada Division of Wildlife (Reno) and Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (Carson City).  We could not be prouder of the results shown below: 

Picture3Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist and Ore Chute, before and after

Through the direction and facilitation of the Foundation, we provided funds for the restoration of the historic Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist works and ore chute, located directly above the tracks of the V&T Railroad in Gold Hill.  The wooden hoist served to lift ore carts and miners from the famed Yellow Jacket which was one of the richest mines in the history of the Comstock.  Without the restoration efforts, we do not believe this historic structure would have survived another Comstock winter.  Special thanks go to Ron James, Pam Abercrombie and the entire Comstock extended team.

Keystone Mine reclamation, before and afterKeystone Mine reclamation, before and after

The Keystone Mine is located adjacent to State Route 342.  It is the first part of the active mining area that you see when you travel south on State Route 342 from Virginia City.  Our environmental and operating teams recognized the significance of both the initial impression to visitors in the area and the importance of the “viewshed” to all admirers living and or passing through the district.  Our teams performed extensive regrading and shaping of the Keystone Mine area and even included patches of boulders and rocks to mimic the appearance of the surrounding native hills.  We then reseeded and regraded landscape using an approved seed mix and high quality hydroseeding techniques.  Once the vegetation started approximating the surrounding vegetation density, it was difficult to distinguish the regraded terrain from the surrounding native hills.

Our sincere thanks throughout the entire Comstock system, SRK Consulting, the independent and international mining and earth/water resource company that nominated Comstock Mining for the award and Storey County and the entire Comstock community, for being diligent and partnering for a better, most excellent and sustainable outcome.

Kindest regards,

Corrado DeGasperis
President & CEO