The Bureau of Land Management Mount Lewis Field Office is seeking public comments on the Environmental Assessment for the proposed Barrick Cortez Inc. Amendment 3 to the Plan of Operations and Reclamation Permit (Project), located approximately 24 miles south of Beowawe in Lander and Eureka Counties, Nevada.

Barrick Cortez Inc. has submitted Amendment 3 to the Plan of Operations and Reclamation Permit (NVN-067575) (14-1A) proposing modifications to existing operations. The project proposes modifications to facilities in two of the mining complexes in the Cortez Gold Mines Operations Area and modifications to overall operations which include: deepen the existing Gap Pit (west portion of the existing Pipeline Pit complex); expand the existing Area 30 (Pipeline South Area) Heap Leach Facility and Gap Waste Rock Facility and construct associated storm water diversions; reconfigure and increase the height of the existing Pipeline/South Pipeline Waste Rock Facility; construct a new water treatment plant and associated facilities; construct additional mine infrastructure (e.g., administration building, maintenance shop, etc.) and reconfigure the life-of-mine power line; expand the capacity of the refractory ore stockpile on top of the Pipeline/South Pipeline Waste Rock Facility; reconfigure and increase the height of the existing Canyon Waste Rock Facility; construct new Range Front Declines (RFDs) and associated surface facilities; construct additional surface facilities to support currently authorized underground operations; relocate and expand the capacity of the refractory ore stockpiles, and develop an oxide ore stockpile, on top of the Canyon Waste Rock Facility; modify the mining rate between the Pipeline and Cortez Hills complexes to provide operational flexibility; retain currently authorized off site refractory ore shipping rate of 1.2 million tons per year (tpy) to the existing Goldstrike Mill for processing, but eliminate the on site location restrictions to provide for operational flexibility; and backhaul up to 600,000 tpy of oxide (mill- and heap leach-grade) ore from the Arturo Mine through the Goldstrike Mine to the Pipeline Complex for processing.

The proposed facilities modifications at the Pipeline and Cortez Hills complexes would result in 581 acres of new surface disturbance and the reallocation of currently authorized disturbance. No modifications are proposed at the Cortez or Gold Acres complexes within the CGM Operations Area. Including the proposed Project, the total disturbance area for operations within the CGM Operations Area would increase to 16,700 acres.

The comment period ends Aug. 26. Written comments can be sent to BLM, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820 during this 30-day period and will be considered in the decision-making process. The EA may be viewed at: http://1.usa.gov/1fDVWkY or a printed copy can be picked up at the Battle Mountain District Office at 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV. Comments may also be submitted using the ePlanning comments submission at: http://1.usa.gov/1fDVWkY (click on the “comment” button in the lower right hand corner) or emailed to: blm_nv_bmdo_barrick_apo3_ea@blm.gov.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised, that your entire comment — including your personal identifying information — may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

If you have any questions or require clarification on this EA, please call Chris Worthington, Planning and Environmental Coordinator at (775) 635-4144.