Comstock Mining, the Virginia City silver and gold miner, said Tuesday it had received word of state regulatory approval for expansion of its water pollution control permit.
The modified permit authorized by the Bureau of Mining Regulation and Reclamation in the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection will increase the amount of mineralized material the mining firm may process annually. Previously, the permit allowed yearly processing of 1 million tons of material, the company said, and now it can go to up to 4 million tons a year.
Also authorized was expansion of the company’s existing heap leach pad facilities.
“This is a critical permit modification that enables our production expansion goals for the remainder of this year, next year and beyond,” said Corrado De Gasperis, company president and chief executive officer.
“We will move expeditiously to complete our current heap leach expansion from five to eight cells, increase our rates of production, (and) significantly drop our unit costs associated with producing our planned 40,000 gold equivalent ounces for next year,” he added.
The company said that for the quarter ending Sept. 30, it had shipped a record 5,214 ounces of gold and 59,731 ounces of silver. Comstock Mining also said it remains on track to deliver 20,000 gold-equivalent ounces for this calendar year.