New London mine issued conditional permit for operations

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has issued a conditional permit for the Parker Mine in New London.

A letter dated Nov. 3 sent to James Schad of Boulder Associates, LLC, stated the company’s application for a permit “has been found to meet the requirements” of North Carolina General Statute 74-51 of the Mining Act of 1971.

The permitted acreage of the site, according to the letter, is 297 acres, with the amount of land the company is “approved to disturb” is 83.6 acres.

Conditions of the permit include wastewater and quarry dewatering per the regulations of N.C. Environmental Management Commission, along with stormwater, which the company would have to secure any necessary permits on it from the Stormwater Program.

Other conditions include air quality and dust control, minimum 50-foot buffer zones between affected land and waterways as well as buffers to protect adjacent properties.

Erosion and sediment control, groundwater protection, permanently marked boundaries, grades slopes and fills, surface drainage, blasting, a highwall barrier, visual screening and refuse disposal each have requirements as part of the conditional permit.

Schad issued a written statement last week regarding the permit: “I would say that we are excited that after many years of hard work, exploration, surveying and studies … all of which came at a considerable cost. We were able to meet all the requirements necessary for the state to increase the footprint of our operation and issue us a mining permit. The property has always been a mine dating back to the 1800s. My father purchased it some 40 years ago, intending to continue with that usage. We are pleased about the permit and look forward to the opportunity to use our property for its intended use. We hope others in the county share our enthusiasm. We want to work with everyone and our hope is to make this something that is an asset to the area.”

New London Mayor Tate Daniels said the town has no comment at this time about the permit approval.