The Jerritt Canyon property is largely comprised of public lands utilized not only by the mining operation, but also by the community and employees. This utilization creates a deep-rooted understanding of the importance of maintaining the integrity of that land for not only Jerritt Canyon owners and operators, but also individual employees. Through internal and third party collaboration, we actively work to manage and minimize the impact of our activities
Specifically, JCG utilizes an Environmental Oversight Program for compliance and facilitation of not only operations and mining development, but also reclamation. The program is administered by JCG’s Environmental Department and implemented jointly with the JCG engineering and operations groups.
In addition to day to day compliance work, JCG has committed millions of dollars to reclamation and closure activities. In 2009, JCG was operating under a consent decree, most of which has been completed to date with two exceptions, closure of rock disposal areas that were operated in the early 1990s and closure of the original Tailings Storage Facility (TSF1). Although they are not yet considered completed, JCG to date, has committed approximately $17M in time and resources to addressing both concerns.
In 2015, JCG started the final closure of TSF1. The impoundment is approximately 300 acres and closure of the facility required placement of an interim working platform to ensure equipment could operate safely during closure, placement of a fines layer to prevent damage to the liner, placement of HDPE liner, and finally, topped with three feet of growth media placement which will be seeded for final closure. JCG has completed the interim working platform placement for the entire impoundment, which translates to preparation of approximately 12M square feet of surface for subsequent fines and liner placement. 8.6M square feet of the impoundment has been prepped for liner placement and 5.8M square feet of liner has been installed. Additionally, as of November 2019, JCG has completed cover placement on 2M square feet of the lined areas.
Also, in 2015, JCG began construction of treatment cells to manage discharge emanating from rock disposal areas that were utilized at the very start of the mining operation in the 1990s. The cells were passive bioreactors designed treat the water and ultimately discharge clean water. JCG’s total investment was approximately $8M. They have only been completed and operational for 1-3 years, depending on the site, but the results have not met the desired discharge standards, so JCG has begun engineering to install a HDPE liner that will prevent meteoric water infiltration and thus mitigate the problem entirely. JCG believes this is ultimately a far better solution in for the environment and life around the facility after final closure as it eliminates the need for long term management as would be required by the treatment cells.
Aside for compliance issues related the consent decree, JCG has also completed removal multiple facilities that have remained in place since the beginning of the operation. This removal includes demolition of an original process circuit utilized for gold recovery, the removal of building throughout the mining operation areas including shops and remote office buildings, and final the removal of an original fuel dispensing system.
And finally, Jerritt’s most valuable effort, both in regards to long term environmental management and true capital costs, in the completion of a 1,000 gpm water treatment plant (WTP). The WTP is designed with upstream solids removal followed by ultrafiltration membranes that feed three sea water reverse osmosis systems with a final metal polishing system. This ability to treat water with a TDS of approximately 28,000 ppm and saturated with various metals will allow JCG to properly manage water and ensure the long term management of water and in time, allow for a very productive water reuse program. At this time, however, JCG treated discharge meets drinking water standards and is reinjected into the aquifer. For more details about his plant, check out the article in Elko Daily Free Press.