GoldSpring mining's chairman and CEO believes Nevada's Comstock Lode is being reborn, and he wants mining supporters and opponents to visit the site to see for themselves.
Steve Parent, head of the company based in Scottsdale, Ariz., said the community is invited to an open house Thursday at the company's mining pit and processing mill in Gold Hill, which is about 15 miles from Carson City.
Parent called the Comstock Lode the "least explored gold-producting zone in the state of Nevada, and the state produces more gold than any other state, even more than Alaska."
GoldSpring is a U.S.-based company that mines for gold and silver, copper, iron and other precious metals here, Canada and Mexico. It owns the Plum Mining Co., which produces gold and silver with the only permitted cyanide heap leach on the Comstock Lode. The gold and silver is then sent to the Johnson Matthey refinery in Salt Lake City, Parent said.
GoldSpring was founded in March 2003 and has raised more than $12.3 million. Its operations are focused on the Comstock Lode, with expansion in other areas of Nevada, Arizona, Canada and Mexico. About 4,000 people have invested into the company.
It has $18.6 million in assets and less than $1 million in debt in its first 18 months. It also owns Eco-Vat Copper Nevada in Winnemucca, which mines 25 million pounds of copper, according to the company.
Plum Mining employs 15 people to open pit mine the Billie the Kid claim and process the precious metals. So far 150,000 tons have been mined from the pit, which is named after the former owner's daughter. So far GoldSpring has invested $3 million into improvements at the project site.
"Most everything is done - that can be done - by local contractors," Parent said. "And we employ only local people."
Mining engineer Bob Turner came out of retirement to lead Plum Mining.
"He had built the largest gold heap leech in the world," Parent said. "To have him working with us is just phenomenal."
He said the mine hasn't attracted the attention of protesters because when GoldSpring began operations at the mine it already was permitted, so no public hearings were needed.
Future projects for the company include building a Nevada head office in Virginia City, which will break ground in January 2005. Parent said they also have plans to clean up three mining dumps in Virginia City where the ore was never processed. GoldSpring has three letters of intent to mine in other areas of Nevada.
Contact Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.