Don’t allow another gold mining disaster

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On Oct. 27, I attended a public meeting held in Kershaw by the Army Corps of Engineers pertaining to the environmental impact statement that decides whether Haile Gold Mine receives permits to mine several thousand acres.
The purpose of the meeting was to get input so the Army Corps of Engineers can decide if the benefits of reopening HGM outweigh raping the land, contaminating our water supply and destroying our community. Most of the people who spoke in favor of HGM have or will benefit personally. They have sold to the mine, have stock or own a profitable business.
HGM plans to build a 500-acre tailing storage facility for material leached with cyanide to extract gold and a 200-acre facility to store acid-generating material about one mile from my home.
The 700-acre tailing storage facility on Duckwood Road has a volume capacity of 400 million tons of contaminated tailings. When it is full, the plan is to move across Highway 601 and start another facility.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers report, Romarco admits it has little experience working in the southeast United States where climatic conditions are different and the rainfall averages are greater. This presents a greater challenge to contain contaminants. Please note: Cyanide does get in the air and Haile Gold Mine will be using large quantities of it.
 Visit www.sac.usace.army.mil/?action=public
Scroll down to EIS Decision Package 7 1 2011. There is some very important information after the first two pages.
We have already had a gold mining disaster just inside Chesterfield County that contaminated 49 miles of Lynches River – killing fish, wildlife and farm animals that drank from the stream. In 1999, the federal government U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund had to take over 1,000 acres and start the clean-up process on 230 acres. The process continues today after Brewer Mining Co. filed for bankruptcy.
I am convinced there are others in the community, county and state who do not want to live through years of what is going to happen here. I, for one, do not want to be a human buffer zone for these so-called economic benefits that only a few will enjoy.
Please help us by writing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District. The corps wants your input and the deadline for submitting comments is Nov. 26.
Contact information:
u E-mail: Darden@usace.army.mil
u Website: www.hailegoldmineeis.com
u Mail to CESAC-REP, 69A Haygood Ave. Charleston, SC 29403
u Dr. Richard Darden, (toll free) 1 (866) 329-8186 or (843) 329-8043

Jeff LeGrande