SILVER CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- The Lyon County Board of Commissioners have approved Comstock Mining's application for a Master Plan Amendment and Zone Change, after a packed meeting in Yerington Thursday morning. The vote was 4-1, with the dissenting vote coming from Commissioner Arellano. The zone change passed 5-0.
Approximately 250 citizens were present to hear the testimony. The company's application was to change the town's master plan and zoning to allow for the possibility of potential mining. The application had been denied by the Planning Commission last month in a 5-1 vote.
Many residents were opposed to a mining operation near their homes. Some spoke in support of the request, saying it would bring much needed jobs and tax revenues.
Comstock President and CEO Corrado de Gasperis says he does not see a conflict between his company's plans and preserving the quality of life in Silver City. "Ultimately, it would have no sustainable life or qualities if we didn't have economic development, so the two can co-exist. Although it may be new, it may be ways that are unprecedented, it may be ways that are advanced technologies, it may be underground. We want to assess those possibilities."
Comstock Mining testified that they are making the request to allow them to move forward with mineral exploration and potential mining of the area. The exploration phase will include engineering and environmental studies, and will take two or more years. Comstock would have to apply for a special use permit in order to mine.
Comstock also testified that their application would reduce the density of a potential 648 homes to 111 homes. They provided information about their efforts to rehabilitate the Comstock Mining District, with work being done on historical mine sites such as the Ajax Mine.
Comstock Mining provided a concession of reducing the acreage in the area of the Dayton Mill and west of Highway 341, which reportedly reduces the view shed of proposed mining.