Comstock Mining Inc. (the "Company") received on Saturday, September 12, 2015, the Nevada Excellence in Mine Reclamation Award. The Company received the Excellence in Mine Reclamation Award for the full restoration of the Keystone Mine, and was also recognized along with the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture (the "Foundation"), for Outstanding Rehabilitation of the historic Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist Works.
Comstock's reclamation of the Keystone Mine, in the Comstock Lode Historic Mine District, represented a full open cut land restoration, and the emergency restoration of the Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist Works saved an iconic landscape feature on the National Landmark. The Foundation, an established 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the historic district, identified, facilitated and funded the restoration.
This combined award and three others were presented at the Nevada Mining Association Convention. All awards were the result of unanimous decisions by the Awards Committee. Members of the committee included representatives from the USFS (Elko), BLM (Reno), NDOM (Reno), NDEP (Carson City), NDOW (Reno) and NDEP (Carson City).
The Excellence in Mine Reclamation Awards recognizes some of the most progressive Nevada miners, elevating the standards of excellence in mine reclamations and restorations. Interest in these awards encourages innovation in reclamation techniques, raises industry standards, and results in better plans of operation and reclamation, while increasing the public's awareness of these sustaining activities.
SRK Consulting, an independent and international mining and earth/water resource consulting company, nominated Comstock Mining for the award stating, 'Comstock Mining embraces the local communities and looks for ways to work with and for the residents to preserve the history of the area and minimize the potential impacts of mining operations on health, safety, and quality of life. From pro-actively engaging regulators to developing the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture (http://www.comstockfoundation.org), CMI continues to demonstrate their desire to be a responsible member of the local and broader mining communities. It is for this varied and multi-pronged approach to community engagement and historic preservation and the recent concurrent and creative reclamation of the Keystone cut that SRK believes CMI is worthy of both this nomination and the award.'
Through the direction and facilitation of the Foundation, the Company provided funds for the restoration of the historic Upper Yellow Jacket Hoist works and ore chute, located directly above the tracks of the V&T Railroad in Gold Hill. The wooden hoist served to lift ore carts and miners from the famed Yellow Jacket which was one of the richest mines in the history of the Comstock. Without the restoration efforts, this historic structure was not expected to survive another Comstock winter.
The Keystone Mine is located adjacent to State Route 342. It is the first part of the active mining area that you see when you travel south on State Route 342 from Virginia City. The Company recognized the significance of both the initial impression to visitors in the area and the importance of the "viewshed" to the local and visiting admirers alike. The Company performed extensive regrading and shaping of the Keystone Mine area and included patches of boulders and rocks to mimic the appearance of the surrounding native hills. The Company then reseeded the regraded landscape using an approved seed mix and high quality hydroseeding techniques. Once the vegetation approximates the surrounding vegetation density, it will be difficult to distinguish the regraded terrain from the surrounding native hills.