Letter To The Editor: Wyo Regulators Work Hard to Balance Growth and Environmental Concern

In a letter to the editor, the President and CEO of U.S. Gold Corp. writes "We would all like to move faster, but the main concern is to get things right and allow the authorities to do their work.

March 07, 20234 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Dear Editor:

Following: Cowboy State Daily – Despite Pace Of Gold Mine Permitting, Landowner Says Wyoming Bureaucrats Are Lazy And Holding It Up – March 1, 2023, Kevin Killough

In ranching if an animal is in trouble, or something needs to get fixed to keep the operation moving, there’s no time to lose. There is an immediacy, which is critical to the welfare of the business, a tough business!

U.S. Gold Corp. resurrected the Copper King mine, situated in the Silver Crown Mining district 20-miles to the west of Cheyenne, after it lay dormant for years since the last mining that occurred in the 1920s, and has been moving fast.

Starting in August 2020 methodical steps were taken to establish environmental baselines, design the project, assess impacts to the environment and community, all culminating in the presentation of a Mine Operating Permit Application and Closure Plan on September 13, 2022, and now an Industrial Siting Permit Application, submitted on February 21, 2023.

Over the last two and half years the company has been working with Walt Ferguson and the Ferguson Ranch, keeping them informed as to our activities every step of the way.

Two field campaigns have been conducted to drill holes and dig test pits to collect data and our activities have been inspected by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Land Division.

These activities have been on State land that the Ferguson Ranch leases for grazing, or Ferguson private land. Since August 2020, approximately $14 million has been spent to date getting the company to the point where it not only believes its sitting on an economic project worthy of development, but also that its impacts are a resounding benefit to the local community with minimal impact to the environment.

A spectator to all these activities can be forgiven for thinking that it’s taking a long time and surprised by the process to bring the mining project to fruition.

The regulations, checks and balances have been derived over many years in response to mining, an industry with a checkered past.

Wyoming is no stranger to mining and the regulatory agencies in the State control billions of dollars of activity essential to the wellbeing of its citizens.

Contrary to some opinions, today’s mining and resource sector are some of the most regulated sectors of the economy, and beyond that, investors demand that mining companies be good corporate citizens.

George Bee, President and CEO of U.S. Gold Corp. has permitted, developed and operated mines in many jurisdictions in North America, South America and Africa, working with all sorts of regulatory and oversight agencies.

In his experience, he can say that the regulatory agencies in Wyoming are the best he has ever worked with, in so far as they are knowledgeable, and hard working.

More importantly, they are courageous and forthright in their dealings. There is nothing worse than a bureaucrat that fails to make decisions, not provide the right guidance, or engages in “foot dragging”.

That is not what we see in Wyoming, where there is an honest and forthright interaction. The agencies take their role of protecting the public and the environment seriously, but still want to get things done, if indeed the activity can be done properly.”

To clarify statements about the Industrial Siting Permit Application, U.S. Gold’s prefeasibility study back in December 2021 had a direct capital cost of $222 million to build the plant and facilities on site.

However, there are off-site investments by third parties that must also be considered, as well as inflation. The net result is that the CK Gold Project will exceed the $259.3 million dollar threshold currently in place, related to the Industrial Siting Statute.

The company had no option but to apply for an Industrial Siting Permit, a mechanism in Wyoming to help local communities accommodate large capital investment projects without too much burden on local infrastructure and services.

In closing, U.S. Gold Corp, says George Bee, he is very comfortable with the progress of the project through the regulatory process. “We would all like to move faster, but the main concern is to get things right and allow the authorities to do their work.”


By George Bee, President and CEO, U.S. Gold Corp.

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