Nevada mine opponents take water battle to appeals court – by Benjamin Spillman (Reno Gazette Journal – October 17, 2016)

The battle to block development of a molybdenum mine in Nevada’s rural Diamond Valley is scheduled to resume Tuesday in San Francisco.

That’s where lawyers on both sides of the fight over the proposed Mt. Hope mine near Eureka will make arguments about the project opponents say will have a devastating effect on local water supplies.

“We are having some serious water issues in Diamond Valley right now so adding that mine would just be a huge mistake,” said Carolyn Bailey, whose family has been ranching and farming near the proposed mine site since 1863.

Great Basin Resource Watch and the Western Shoshone Defense Project are plaintiffs in the case against the Bureau of Land Management, which permitted the project in 2012, and Eureka Moly, LLC., which is the company seeking to develop the mine. The case is on appeal after U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones in Reno denied the plaintiffs’ complaint in 2014.

Much of the case rests on the plaintiffs’ interpretation of a 1926 executive order known as Public Water Reserve 107. The order from President Calvin Coolidge stated, in part, that, “all land within one quarter of a mile of every spring or water be reserved for public use.”

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