Timeline: Zephyr Mining Permit Application

May 12, 2022: DRMS Third Adequacy Review

April 7, 2022: Click HERE for a diagram of the DRMS Approval Process 

April 2, 2022: Given the March 28 News Release (below), the AVCC will temporarily shift its focus to three topics:

  1. Monitor the Zephyr mine situation for subsequent changes.

  2. Engage businesses to become informed and be ready to join the mine opposition.

  3. Organize activities targeting the passage of the Colorado Wilderness Act (which would constrain Zephyr's future ability to expand their mining claims).

TAKE ACTION: https://www.coloradowildernessact.org/take-action/

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COLORADO WILDERNESS ACT:

Protecting Colorado's Wilderness (click here for more)

Grape Creek is a secluded and serene body of water that flows into the Wet Mountain Valley of southern Colorado. This creek is responsible for nearly all the snowmelt that comes through this valley, creating a lush habitat with diverse vegetation and wildlife. Grape Creek above all is a destination for fisherman. It has few points of access, and can be successfully fished throughout numerous seasons due to the low elevation of the Valley. These factors create a pristine environment that is a haven for both fish and fisherman alike, a true example of sustainable Colorado recreation.

H.R.803 - Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act (click here for more)

Certain lands managed by the Royal Gorge Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management or the Bureau of Reclamation or located in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, which comprise approximately 32,884 acres, as generally depicted on a map titled “Grape Creek Proposed Wilderness”, dated November 7, 2019, which shall be known as the Grape Creek Wilderness

March 28, 2022: Zephyr provided a Dawson permitting update in a news release to its stockholders. Zephyr is required to drill five groundwater monitoring wells over and above those previously drilled and monitored for five quarters by Zephyr, as well as one compliance well. DRMS requires that the additional wells also have five quarters of monitoring data before they can consider approving the Mining Permit Application, thereby pushing out the potential approval of the mining permit to late 2023. 

Under current regulations DRMS must respond, by approving or denying the Mining Permit Application, within one year from the date on which DRMS considered the application to be complete, July 15, 2021. It is not possible for DRMS to respond in four quarters on a requirement that under their own regulations requires five quarters to complete. Therefore, Zephyr plans to extend its Mining Permit Application decision date for two additional months to May 31, 2022 to receive clarification on some of the remaining outstanding adequacy questions. Subsequent to this, the Mining Permit Application will be withdrawn to provide the necessary time window for data collection of the additional required groundwater monitoring wells as well as other technical data with the goal of resubmitting an updated application for a mining permit late in 2023

Zephyr News Release

 

March 23, 2022: DRMS completed its second adequacy review and sent its conclusions to Zephyr. They encouraged Zephyr to file for an extension past the March deadline: "If you are unable to satisfactorily address any concerns identified in this review before the decision date, it will be your responsibility to request an extension of the review period. If there are outstanding issues that have not been adequately addressed prior to the end of the review period, and no extension has been requested, the Division will deny this application." 

Of the 101 objections the DRMS assembled on October 14, 2021, 21 significant objections remain open (responses are inadequate) or ~21%. These includes critical topics like numbers 1, 22, 23, 39, 47 (Grape Creek), 67 & 69, 85, 87, and 99. NOTE: #99 includes the objections we filed in August including Dr. Emerman's report which requires a detailed response to water consumption understatements, tailings dam failures, and storage/use of chemicals.  Fire extinguishment/prevention has not been specifically addressed by either DRMS document.  No mention of the January 8, 2022 tailings stack failure in Brazil was made by the DRMS or Zephyr. 

 

The DRMS considered approximately 50% (51) of the initial objections were adequately addressed. In addition, the DRMS has provided detailed directions to Zephyr on how they should resolve 7% (8) specific issues: 32, 64, 65, 69, 70, 74, 83, and 98. 

Colorado DRMS Second Adequacy Review Findings (12 pages)

February 25, 2022: Colorado DRMS explained process for timely Comments.

Colorado DRMS letter

February 22, 2022: Colorado DRMS approved extension to March 31, 2022.

February 21, 2022: Zephyr requested a decision date extension from February 28, 2022, to March 31, 2022.

February 9, 2022: Zephyr responded to the DRMS October 14, 2021 comments

Response Cover Letter (1 page, 1 MB)

Updated Permit Application (78 pages, 83 MB)

Appendix B (67 pages, 51 MB)

Appendix F (65 pages, 61 MB)

Appendix J (31 pages, 28 MB)

Appendix M (30 pages, 26 MB)

Appendix N (119 pages, 95 MB)

December 6, 2021: Colorado DRMS approved the extension to February 28, 2022.

December 3, 2021: Zephyr requested that the decision date be extended to February 28, 2022.

October 14, 2021: The Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS/DIVISION) responded to the Dawson Gold Mine Permit Application submitted on June 20, 2021, by David Felderhof of Zephyr Gold USA Ltd. The decision date for the application was December 13, 2021. Mr. Felderhof had until then to satisfactorily address the concerns in the review or apply for an extension of the review period. If he did neither, then the Division would deny his application. The original permit states that certain plans will be prepared upon approval of the application. The Division is requesting copies of the plans prior to approval. 

 

Key areas of concern were blasting, mill design secondary containment, reagent storage, Grape Creek impact, protecting raptor nesting sites, spill prevention and control, environmental protection plan, hauling water from the contact water pond to the mill, storm water management, exfiltration pond, construction schedule, stability analysis, interim Global Environmental Mine Services report, technical specifications, seepage from tailings, and riprap sizing for gradation.

Attached to the report was a copy of Colorado House Bill 19-1113, “Concerning the Protection of Water Quality from Adverse Impacts Caused by Mineral Mining,” approved on April 4, 2019.

DRMS Response (24 pages, 1 MB)

Colorado House Bill 19-1113

 

September 1, 2021: The public comment period ended September 1, 2021. Those who contributed by the deadline will have an opportunity to participate and provide testimony at the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety Board

Comments were submitted here. Enter M2021046 for the Permit Number

June 30, 2021: Zephyr Gold USA Ltd's filed an application with the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety Board to conduct an underground mining and reclamation operation. The application was titled "Designated Mining Regular (112d) Operation Reclamation Permit Application for Dawson Gold Mine, Fremont County, CO."

Application and Exhibits (129 pages, 25 MB)

Appendices (426 pages, 38 MB)