The recently announced Bald Mountain expansion plan approval by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is another example of Kinross’ commitment to environmental stewardship.
The potential expansion will see the site incorporate new ways to protect wildlife, including mule deer, sage grouse, golden eagles and wild horses, and shows how we responsibly manage our environmental footprint.
Bald Mountain worked closely with the BLM and the Nevada Division of Wildlife to substantially reduce potential impacts to mule deer migration in regards to our proposed mine plan expansion.
The mine was able to reduce the footprint of the planned facilities by 56%, including re-configuring four pits in the North Operations Area, to have less of an impact on local and migratory mule deer populations. In total, Bald Mountain reduced the potential expansion footprint by approximately 1,800 acres, and then further reduced it by an additional 2,100 acres than what had been authorized.
“During the permitting process, we were able to satisfy all of BLM’s concerns, took into consideration the public’s concerns that were put forward during the public comment period and made many modifications to our plans to ensure we reduced our impact,” said Randy Burggraff, Vice-President and General Manager, Bald Mountain.
A comprehensive mule deer monitoring plan was developed to recognize if the mule deer migration is indeed being impacted by the potential mine plan expansion.
If there are impacts, a thorough mule deer adaptive management plan has been developed to mitigate them. Two examples include a snow management route, which entails compacting snow so it will be easier for mule deer to migrate through the property, and cutting holes in the large dirt piles so mule deer can pass through during their migration.
Reclamation activities, including backfilling the Redbird pit and other small pits, is also expected to benefit mule deer migration routes. Since 2014, Bald Mountain has worked to concurrently reclaim approximately 700 acres and plans to increase the total acres reclaimed to 800 acres by the end of 2016.
Wild horses at Bald Mountain
A mule deer
Bald Mountain from above