Golden Queen Mining has secured all key mining approvals and permits.
Land Use – Conditional Use Permits
The Kern County Planning Commission unanimously approved the Project at its regularly scheduled meeting in Bakersfield on April 8, 2010. All appeals that were subsequently filed against the Commission’s decision were withdrawn and the decision made by the Planning Commission was final in 2010. The Bureau of Land Management confirmed that its Record of Decision approving the Plan of Operations under NEPA in November 1997 also remains valid.
The State of California introduced backfilling requirements for certain types of open pit metal mines in December 2002. Norwest has prepared life-of-mine waste rock management plans and these plans incorporate sequential backfilling of mined-out phases of the open pit with limited double-handling of waste rock at the end of the mine life.
The Company announced that the Kern County Planning and Community Development Department approved the additional information submitted by the Company in regards to Condition 107 of the Conditional Use Permits for the Project in a news release on July 12, 2012.
Under Condition 107 of the Conditional Use Permits, the Company was required to submit, prior to the commencement of mining, additional information relating to closure and closing reclamation for the Project. The Company submitted the required information to the Planning Department on November 28, 2011 and again on June 8, 2012. In accordance with the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975, the Planning Department consulted the State Department of Conservation/Office of Mine Reclamation (the “OMR”). The OMR confirmed in a letter to the Planning Department dated June 29, 2012 that the information provided by the Company adequately demonstrated compliance with Condition 107.
Water Quality – Waste Discharge Requirements
The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board unanimously approved Waste Discharge Requirements and a Monitoring and Reporting Program for the Project at a public hearing held in South Lake Tahoe on July 14, 2010. The Executive Officer subsequently signed the Board Order and this is now in effect.
Air Quality – Authority to Construct and Permit to Operate
The Air Quality and Health Risk Assessment for the Project was completed and submitted to the Kern County Planning Department and the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District, EKAPCD on July 21, 2009. This study was approved by Kern County Planning Commission on April 8, 2010, as part of the certification of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report.
Ten applications for Authority to Construct permits were submitted to the EKAPCD in February 2011. The EKAPCD confirmed that the information required to support the applications was complete. The draft Authority to Construct permits were received in September 2011. The Company’s consulting engineers and legal counsel completed their review of the draft Authority to Construct permits in January 2012. EKAPCD issued the Authority to Construct permits on February 8, 2012.
The Authority to Construct permits will be converted to a Permit to Operate after construction has been completed and subject to inspection by EKAPCD.
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