A mining company’s dire financial situation and its large piles of waste could leave Idaho and national taxpayers with a mess to clean up in Owyhee County.
Officials from Silver Falcon Mine, Inc. reported in a statement they will need $1.9 million to continue, are in default to their vendors and have tax lien and court judgments against them of more than $1 million. The company has no long term plan for containing its waste after it closes, said Justin Hayes of the Idaho Conservation League.
“It appears that the waste piles are not well-contained, exposed to the elements and subject to wind and rain dispersal,” Hayes said.
The ICL is asking state and federal regulators to step in and ensure the hazardous waste at the mine site is contained. Hayes said another company, GoldLand Holding Co., which shares many of the same board members as Silver Falcon Mine, Inc. and reports that it owns the mining claims associated with Silver Falcon, appears to be focusing its interests in other directions.
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In 2013 Silver Falcon reported it had mined more than $270 million of gold out of the deposit, which is a part of the Silver City historic mining district.
Hayes points to a recent press release of Pierre Quilliam, CEO of GoldLand Holdings Company and also CEO of Silver Falcon Mine, Inc. said the company is expanding into new businesses and countries.
"Since September 2013 to present, GHDC now has gaming operations in two countries, Colombia and Nicaragua," Quilliam said. "GoldLand will continue to seek quality gaming entities which will be evaluated with financial matrixes. As these entities meet the Company's qualifications, acquisition announcement will be forthcoming."
In a federal SEC filing, GoldLand Holdings said: “We are currently engaged in two lines of business: mining properties, and gaming equipment. Mining Properties: On September 14, 2007, we acquired an interest in 174.82 acres of land on War Eagle Mountain in Idaho from two of our major shareholders for a total of 90,000,000 shares of our common stock.”
Hayes said he worries that as Silver Falcon is floundering, Goldland appears to be diverting money from the mine to acquire the Central America gaming businesses.
“ This web of interlocking directors and diversified corporate ownership and overseas investments may result in the inability to find a financially solvent party to hold responsible for environmental cleanup at the Silver Falcon mill site in Idaho,” Hayes said.