Gold, silver mining plan makes Ouray County commissioners nervous
Ouray County commissioners are wary of a plan to conduct exploratory gold and silver drilling in one of the most scenic areas of Colorado – Yankee Boy Basin near both the San Juan Mountain towns of Telluride and Ouray.
The Telluride Watch reported this week the Mt. Sneffels Mining Co., already operating the Ruby Trust Mine on private land in the area, has filed a notice of intent with both the state and the U.S. Forest Service to conduct a three-year exploratory drilling operation on 145 acres of private land and 550 acres of unpatented mining claims on Forest Service land in the famous basin and nearby Sneffels Creek drainage.
Intended to assess the feasibility of expanding the existing mine, the exploration would occur on the south side of spectacular 14,150-foot Mount Sneffels, which is on the eastern edge of the more than 16,000-acre Mount Sneffels Wilderness Area.
“This could potentially be a very contentious and interesting issue to a number of people, particularly to the City of Ouray, because it could be a disruption for a period of three to four years of the tourism activity up in Yankee Boy Basin,” Ouray County commissioner Keith Meinert said.
Yankee Boy Basin has a long mining history but in modern times is more famous for backcountry skiing, wildlife and wildflower photography, hiking and Jeeping. Mount Sneffels, named for a mountain in the Jules Verne novel “A Journey to the Center of the Earth,” is one of the most iconic peaks in all of Colorado and very familiar to anyone driving to the ski town of Telluride.
Got a tip? Freelance story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.
Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.
Juggling Colorado’s already stretched water resources is going to get even tougher in the decades ahead.Read More
None of the members appear to represent the views of the activist-constituents who spent thousands of hours of their lives working for greater local regulatory control. Unless they’re clairvoyant.Read More
Mark your calendars for an evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mike Keefe on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 7 to 11 p.m.Read More