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Gold Mine Proposal Draws More Debate

The public will have more chances this summer to comment on the environmental impacts of a proposed gold mine in Okanogan County.

Battle Mountain Gold Co. is proposing the Crown Jewel Mine for a site about three miles northeast of Chesaw. The company wants to start construction next year.

The project is controversial with environmental groups, who say the mine may contaminate groundwater with cyanide used to leach the gold from ore.

The open-pit mine would operate 24 hours a day for about 10 years.

Informal sessions to answer questions about the project’s draft environmental impact statement are scheduled July 26 at Oroville High School and July 27 at Riverside Grange in Riverside.

Both meetings run from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

In addition, two field trips to the mine site are set for July 29 and Aug. 5. They will start at the Oroville High School north parking lot at 9 a.m.

Reservations for the trips can be made by calling Phil Christy at the Forest Service, (509) 486-5137, or Patricia Betts at the Washington Department of Ecology, (360) 407-6925.

Christy and Betts also can provide copies of the 1,200-page environmental impact statement, or a 60-page summary.

A formal public hearing on the mine project is scheduled Aug. 17 in Tonasket.

, DataTimes



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