National -

ELKO, Nev. – RealEstateRama – The Wells Field Office (WFO) seeks public comment on an environmental assessment prepared for a plan of operations amendment submitted by National Oilwell Varco for the permanent closure of the Big Ledge Mine pit. The comment period closes April 16, 2021.

The proposed plan amendment is designed to permanently close the Big Ledge Mine by backfilling the pit and eliminating the pit lake. The Big Ledge Mine has operated since 2007 in the northern Snake Mountain Range approximately 60 miles north of Wells, Nevada in Elko County.

Actions associated with the closure would include: management of acid rock drainage; initial pumping of water from the pit lake via a buried pipeline to lined evaporation ponds located adjacent to Elko County Road 753 (west pond area near Tabor Creek) or at the Dry Creek Mill Site (east pond area); continued operation and closure of the authorized West waste rock facility catchment pond; managing post-pit water drawdown solids in the open pit; managing salts in lined evaporation ponds resulting from evaporation activities; filling the open pit with oxide rock after the pit water has been drawn down; and closure monitoring. Although both the west side pond option and east side pond option will be analyzed as part of the proposed action, only one pond area will be chosen and constructed.

More information can be found on the project website:

Comments and input should be submitted to the BLM by April 16, 2021. Written comments on the Big Ledge Mine Plan of Operations amendment EA can be submitted via the following methods:  

  • Mail:

BLM Wells Field Office
Attn: Aili Gordon
3900 East Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801

  • Email:
  • Fax: (775) 753-0347

Before including your address, phone number or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

If you have questions, please contact Aili Gordon at  or call (775) 753-0200.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.

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