George Neall, current farmer, retired miner, has been serving us a steady stream of pertinent information on mining, which has been helpful in educating us to the history and facts of the business. George served on the State Agency Committee (SAC), tasked “to study the potential impacts of gold mining and processing in the Commonwealth. The SAC… consists of state agency representatives and other stakeholders, many from the Buckingham area.”
He makes comments in red in the 24 page State Agency Committee (SAC) final report of the “POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF GOLD MINING AND PROCESSING IN THE COMMONWEALTH”. For the entire 294 page report, click here. For the article of our Coalition press release of the report click here.
We are not 100% pleased with the report, as the entire committee did not get to see it before its release.
An example of George’s comments (in red):
Though gold prospecting activity has taken place in Buckingham County, it is not at all a certainty that a gold mine will be proposed. As NASEM noted in its report, only 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000 of prospected sites will become a productive mine. The likelihood that gold mining will take place in Virginia increases significantly with the increase in the market value of gold.
The State Agency Committee (SAC) report with comments (in red) by George is here.
George shares his hopes for reform:
What I have tried to do is “join the bandwagon” (from the comfort of our farm) to make people aware that mining (and industry in general) externalizes environmental costs, leaving them to be paid for by the consumer or left uncorrected in the hope they would go away on their own. This needs to change. People need to demand that the environment be protected realizing that this will cost them money. People who are harmed by mining need to be fairly compensated. Companies need to realize that they cannot continue to externalize costs to the detriment of people who are harmed by mining. This will cost the companies money, too. The prices of products will necessarily increase. “There is no free lunch.”
For your information, some background on George:
A brief summary of my experience and certifications. Note that I have not maintained the licenses/certifications listed below since retiring in 2009.
B.S. Mining engineering VPI & SU 1971
M.S. Mining Engineering VPI & SU 1976
Mining work experience includes post graduate work in rock mechanics and roof control, underground limestone mining, road tunneling, underground copper mining, shaft sinking, underground and surface coal mining, mineral exploration, core drilling and nuclear core logging. My other work experience comprising the time period from 1985 to 2009 includes construction debris landfill operation, resource recovery, building construction, building code enforcement and evaluation, quality assurance program evaluations, seminar course content development and presentation, and special inspections and investigations.