Comstock Mining denies threats of condemnation
February 18, 2011
Contrary to testimony before lawmakers earlier this week, a spokesman for Comstock Mining says the company has not served notice it intends to use condemnation to take property needed to expand its operation in Silver City.
A number of Silver City residents testified in support of legislation that would repeal the ability of mining companies to use eminent domain to force the sale of private property to them. More than one of them said Comstock Mining had already said it would do so.
Comstock spokesman Doug McQuide said in a letter those statements “could not be further from the truth.”
He said company president Corrado De Gasperis met with residents at their town council on more than one occasion to address concerns including the issue of condemnation.
“We carefully articulated a philosophy of working with the community to achieve common goals and a ‘win-win’ solution to conflicts,” McQuide wrote. “I believe the words Corrado used to describe the idea of using eminent domain were something on the order of : ‘it is crazy’ and/or ‘it is an insane’ way to operate a mining operation.”
“Existing mine plans to not predispose such a move and such actions are philosophically at odds with our intention to work with and positively engage the communities in which we intend to commence mining operations,” the letter concludes.
The legislation discussed at the hearing is Senate Bill 86 introduced by Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, who said it isn’t proper to allow a company to take private property by condemnation to make a profit. She said the proper use of eminent domain is when companies such as utilities need the land for a public purpose.
The committee took no action on the legislation.