BLM and USFWS announce the availability of the FEIS for the proposed Hycroft Mine Phase II Expansion Project
Expansion would increase employment at the mine from the current 28 workers to 515 workers and would extend mine life an additional 15 years through 2039
WINNEMUCCA, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have prepared a joint Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to respond to public comment received during Draft EIS review associated with the proposed mine expansion of the precious metals operations at the existing Hycroft Mine in Nevada. The review also analyzes a related request for authorization to remove inactive (i.e., outside of the breeding season) golden eagle nests and incidental take under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act).
The Hycroft Mine is located approximately 55 miles west of Winnemucca in Humboldt and Pershing Counties, Nevada. The BLM and the USFWS have published in the Federal Register a Notice of Availability for the Final EIS.
The Plan Amendment would increase employment at the mine from the current 28 workers to 515 workers, and would extend the life of the mine for an additional 15 years through 2039. Economic analysis suggests the 515 workers would result in an additional 380 jobs in other businesses within the county and another 644 jobs statewide. Counties are expected to receive between $14,000 and $18,000 in annual payroll taxes.
The Final EIS analyzes environmental impacts associated with Hycroft Resources and Development, Inc.’s (HRDI) proposal to expand mining and ore processing activities and the issuing of a permit to disturb golden eagles and their habitats at the existing Hycroft Mine. The proposed expansion consists of extending mining from 2024 to 2039, extending ore processing activities until 2041, and constructing a tailings storage facility. In addition, the project would affect eagle nests and territories; therefore, HRDI has requested authorization from the USFWS to remove inactive eagle nests and a 30‑year incidental take permit for golden eagles under the Eagle Act.
The incidental take permit would allow removal of inactive nests (i.e., outside of nesting season) and disturbance take associated with nest removals and mining activities that may result in the loss of up to three golden eagle breeding territories. Though the permit is good for 30 years, FWS will conduct permit reviews at five-year intervals in which adjustments can be made to take into account updated biological data and other developments. The permit holder will also be required to implement all best management practices to avoid and minimize take of golden eagles, and to mitigate the impacts of the loss of nesting territories by enhancing eagle protections elsewhere.
The EIS analyzed both a proposed action and an alternative action; the BLM has chosen the Alternative Action as its Preferred Action. The BLM Preferred Action reduces surface disturbance by approximately 4,800 acres, the Plan boundary would be nearly 7,800 acres less, and the permanent surface disturbance would be 367 acres less than the proposed action. The EIS analyzes impacts to the following resources: air and atmospheric resources; cultural resource (including National Historic Trails); noxious weeds, invasive species, and non-native species; migratory birds; Native American religious concerns; wastes and materials (hazardous and solid); water quality (surface and ground); geology, minerals, and energy; lands and realty; paleontology; rangeland management; recreation; social values and economics; soils; special status species (plants and wildlife); transportation and access; vegetation; visual resources; and wildlife.
For more information about the Hycroft Mine Phase II Expansion please contact:
Mining Expansion Review:
Contact: Taylor Grysen, BLM Project Manager
Mail: Bureau of Land Management
Black Rock Field Office
5100 East Winnemucca Blvd.
Winnemucca, NV 89445
Eagle Take Permit Review:
Contact: Heather Beeler, USFWS Project Manager
Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Migratory Bird Program, Pacific Southwest Region
2800 Cottage Way, W-2605
Sacramento, CA 95825
Project information is available online at: https://go.usa.gov/xyu54
Contact BLM Project Manager Taylor Grysen at 775- 623-1500 for more information.