April 22, 2014

NYCO test drills reach 300 feet underground

RAY BROOK — State agencies have outlined specific plans to allow NYCO to drill test sites on Lot 8.

Thomas Martin, the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5 natural resource director, described the drilling procedure at a recent Adirondack Park Agency meeting.

DEC’s assessment of the forest and proposed test sites indicated drilling would have “negligible impact” on the site, with no permanent damage to the environment at Lot 8, Martin said.

According to state regulation and land-use law, non-routine Temporary Revocable Permits may be issued for “surveying state land … geodetic and mineral exploration,” which is what NYCO plans to to do.

“Non-routine TRPs may require a performance bond or security from the applicant,” Martin said.

“And in this case, we are requiring that from NYCO.”

The mining company, based in Willsboro, has to secure the test-mining operation with a $125,000 bond.

APA commissioners asked Martin about the drill pads and size of the drills.

Martin said the drill pads are cleared areas, not concrete pads. No asphalt or gravel will be used to create the pads.

NYCO Minerals plans to drill 300 feet into the ground to remove test-core samples, Martin said.

The holes are 6 to 8 inches in diameter, like a water-well drill, and would be refilled at the end of testing.

Access to the test pads does not require roads, Martin said.

“We’re not building a road through the woods. We’re building access corridors.”

The mining company plans to drill as soon as approvals from DEC and APA are in place, hoping to do the work this summer, Martin told APA.

The Proposition 5 land swap would not take place if there is not enough wollastonite on Lot 8.

Email Kim Smith

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