TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - ROMARCO MINERALS INC. (TSX: R) (the "Company") wishes to provide an update pertaining to the Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for its 100% owned Haile Gold Mine project in South Carolina, USA.
The Company regularly exchanges information and holds weekly meetings with the US Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps"), the lead agency responsible for the EIS, its third-party contractor, cooperating agencies and other interested parties, and significant progress has been made. In a recent meeting, the Corps indicated that the scheduled date of December 14, 2012 for publishing the Draft EIS ("DEIS") would not be met. The primary reasons stated were the need to edit previously drafted chapters of the EIS to reflect the Company's new mine layout and the need to accurately characterize the potential effect of mining on surface and groundwater. This is a normal part of the process for developing an EIS. The Corps and its third party contractor have been actively meeting and working with the Company and cooperating agencies to evaluate actions for efficiently completing the EIS.
Currently, the Company's hydrogeology consultant, AMEC, and the Corps' third party contractor are reviewing the hydrological model and the data on which the model is based. The Corps has requested that, as cooperating agencies for development of the EIS, the Environmental Protection Agency and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control also review the hydrology model and data. Once the discussions have been concluded, the Corps has indicated it will make adjustments to the schedule, as appropriate, on its hailegoldmineeis.com website.
Diane Garrett, President & CEO commented: "We continue to work closely with the Corps, the third party contractor, cooperating agencies, and interested parties with the goal of moving through the EIS process as quickly as possible without compromising the accuracy and thoroughness of the analysis and documentation required by NEPA. With a third quarter cash burn of less than $10 million and a current cash position of $71 million, we continue to conserve cash and to take the actions necessary to advance through the permitting process and position the Company to finance, build and operate the Haile Gold Mine."
The new mine layout resulted from the Company's redesign that reduced wetlands impact by 25% and stream impacts by 32%. The Company's original 4,231 acre permit area and mine layout submitted to the Corps in its Federal 404 Wetlands permit application showed direct impacts to approximately 161 acres of wetlands and 38,775 linear feet of streams. The Company, through acquisition of additional lands and increasing its permit area to approximately 4,552 acres, has been able to redesign several of its overburden stockpiles and facilities and shift the proposed mill layout slightly to avoid direct impacts to approximately 40 acres of wetlands (a 25% reduction) and 12,314 linear feet of streams (a 32% reduction).
To date, the Company has received and responded to over 300 formal information requests from the Corps and its third party contractor and many other supplementary questions in the context of numerous meetings and calls. During the regularly held meetings with the Corps, its third party contractor and cooperating agencies, it is routine for the Company's consultants to walk through models or studies, answer additional requests for information, and provide further data. The third party contractor indicated that a significant portion of the DEIS is substantially complete and has briefed the Company on the status of chapters including soils and geology, groundwater hydrology, surface water, water supply, groundwater quality, wetlands and other waters of the United States, aquatic resources, wildlife, socioeconomics and environmental justice, land use, transportation, traffic studies, cultural resources, visual resources, recreation, air quality, noise and vibration, hazardous and toxic waste, health and safety, and monitoring and mitigation.
The Company will hold a conference call on October 25, 2012 at 8:30 am ET where senior management will provide an update on the EIS and Haile Gold Mine project. Senior management will also respond to questions from analysts and investors.
To join the call:
- In Canada and the United States - 1-888-231-8191
- International - 647-427-7450
The conference call will be recorded and playback will be available after the event by dialing toll free in Canada and the United States 1-855-859-2056 or locally 416-849-0833, passcode 56405539# (available up to November 1, 2012).
About Romarco Minerals Inc.
Romarco Minerals Inc. is an exploration and development company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of precious metals mineral properties. The Company has completed a positive Feasibility study and is continuing exploration drilling and permitting for its flagship project, the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina.
This entire press release may be accessed via fax, e-mail, Romarco's website at www.romarco.com and through CNW Group's website at www.newswire.ca. All material information on Romarco Minerals Inc. can be found at www.sedar.com
SOURCE ROMARCO MINERALS INC.