New London mine owners apply for new mining permit

A gold mine in New London may open up again as soon as this November.

Boulder Associates LLC has applied to the state’s Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resource for a permit for the Parker Mine. The land is owned by James Schad, and the home office for Boulder is listed as being in Mooresville.

The application states the original permit for the site, located off Steakhouse and Blalock roads, expired Aug. 20, 2017. The initial permit was for 297 acres for a sand and clay mine with no blasting conditions.

In 2006, a renewal application was submitted which did not include blasting, but the current application, submitted March 10, would include blasting. The mine would also change from sand and clay to a quarrying mine.

Ed Griffin, an adjoining property owner, sent a letter to New London residents recently to warn them about the mine possibly reopening.

His letter stated the process “would require periodic blasting with dynamite. The permit specifies that there will be rock crushers on site to grind these products. They also indicate that they will be extracting water in the amount of 90,000 gallons per day. The depth of this open pit will be 450 feet deep.”

Griffin also stated in the letter, “Because of the noise, dust, traffic and environmental impact this mine will have on our town, I feel it is something that is in no way advantageous to New London or its citizens.”

The letter also listed the name of Adam Parr, an assistant state mining specialist with the Department of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Schad, who stated he was the owner of the property, would not comment about plans for the mine.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the New London Town Commission, Mayor Pro Tem Johnny Chestnut said he and Mayor Tate Daniels were part of a video meeting with Parr regarding the application.

The mayor said a public hearing will be conducted virtually before June 9 regarding the mine. Daniels said citizens would be able to voice their opinions at the New London town hall in a video meeting.

Daniels said Parker Mine was in a zoning district which allowed the mine to operate.

“If they meet the guidelines, the town can’t do anything,” Daniels said.

Certain criteria must be met, Chestnut said, for the mine’s permit to be approved. The criteria include adverse effects on a park or recreation area, effects on groundwater and other bodies of water, deposits of sediment and impacts to wildlife.

At the meeting, Griffin expressed his concerns about the water table on his land bordering the mine, saying effects of the mine could “go right down my creek.”

The entire application process, Daniels added, may take up to six months.