More plans for mining on Tavaputs
Unidentified company in talks with county, East Carbon, state regulators
An undisclosed mining company with interests in Utah held a meeting with several members of the East Carbon City Council, Carbon County Commission and Utah Department of Air and Water Quality on June 18 to discuss the permitting and construction of an underground mining facility near the Tavaputs Plateau.
According to East Carbon City Council member David Avery, the company plans to construct an operation resembling a hard rock mine. The portal would be built about one mile from the communication towers located near the top of Bruin Point.
Avery also reported that a refuse storage and processing plant will be built one-half mile from the same point.
"New jobs are vital for our area, but we need to make sure that the air and water quality of that area is protected at all cost," said Council member Barbara Robinett. "Those of us who live here don't want to see any degradation up there."
In addition to Avery and Robinett, East Carbon was represented at the Bruin Point meeting by council members Froy Garcia and Phillip Holt. The Carbon County Commission sent Casey Hopes and John Jones to view the potential project.
"This project had just begun," said Avery.
Talk of mining the tar sands has been a topic of discussion amount the East Carbon and Sunnyside mining communities for the better part of a century. However, problems with economically feasible mining has always kept the sands buried in place.
According to Avery, the mining team plans to use a proprietary process which will separate the carbon rich oils from the sands.
"The team they sent up was very detailed when explaining just how the process would work," said Avery.
While there is no way to know just how long the operation could last, Avery was confident that if built, the facility would remain active for decades.
"This could very well be a long term operation with significant employment opportunities for Carbon County's workforce," said Avery. "These guys have been really great to talk with. They seem excited to get something going and we are equally ready to see a fresh industry in our area."