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Nevada state panel to hear challenge to huge open pit mine

Posted at 8:22 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 07:00:55-04

CARSON CITY (AP) — Conservationists are asking Nevada's Environmental Commission to rescind a state water permit for a mining project they say would create one of the largest open-pit operations in the country and could pollute Nevada's groundwater for hundreds of years.

The Great Basin Resource Watch plans to argue its appeal Wednesday in Carson City.

The Reno-based group and others have been fighting in federal court since 2012 to block the molybdenum mine that a subsidiary of the Denver-based General Moly Inc. wants to build 250 miles (402 kilometers) east of Reno.

It says the state water pollution control permit granted last year is based on a flawed computer model that underestimates the toxic threat to public health and the environment.

Molybdenum is a metal with a high melting point used to refine oil and make electrodes, missile and aircraft parts.