Ceramics Plant issues at the Idaho Maryland Mine project

Repeated statements from IMMC that the ceramics plant will initially operate elsewhere1,2, with no estimate of when it will operate locally, are in direct conflict with many of the assumptions in the MEA, IS, and DEIR, and may invalidate the latest project application.

Once operational, the mine will remove 2400 tons of rock per day from the ground. Virtually 100% of this rock is waste, since it is estimated that it takes 4 tons of rock to produce 1 oz of gold. Where will this waste go after it is removed? Emgold has proposed a ceramics plant to process some of the waste into tiles. Let's look at the ceramics plant proposal.

  • The ceramics process has never been used commercially. Until this process has been scaled up and shown to be commercially viable it is an unknown quantity.
  • All of the employees of the ceramics company were laid off in 2006.
  • The ceramics company is having significant difficulty attracting investors. Why aren’t other companies interested in investing in the process?
  • The Ceramics company has been banned from the California Green Exposition.
  • There is no proven market for the tiles.
    No market means no profit means no plant.
  • It has been stated that the ceramics plant, if built, would likely be located outside of Grass Valley (central valley or state of Nevada).
  • Without the ceramics plant on site, the waste rock and tailings (at least 1200 tons per day) will either have to be stored on site or trucked off site. Where will they go? Nevada? Marysville? Up or down Highway 20?
  • No ceramics plant locally means half the promised jobs are gone.
  1. “Mine lays off ceramic workers”, Aug. 2, 2007, The Union (www.theunion.com): the “first commercial ceramics plant ... will open in another area where environmental reviews are not on the table” and “The plan is to build a production plant here, but Golden Bear [Ceramics] can start elsewhere right away”.
  2. Transcript: “Re-opening the Idaho-Maryland Mine: A Panel Discussion - June 25, 2008” http://yubanet.com/blog/blogs/blog6.php - see responses to the question: “Air pollution; mining in serpentine; how to mitigate asbestos; epidemic in asthma in children.”

Read More -> Next article