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North Fork Smith drilling permit denied

The claims are just outside the Smith River National Recreation Area and North Fork Wild and Scenic corridor, where mining is already prohibited. Courtesy of Kalmiopsis Wild
 Mining company denied surface water for exploratory drilling 

A mining company’s plan to perform exploratory drilling in the North Fork Smith River watershed was dealt a blow Monday when an Oregon state agency denied a request to use surface water for drilling. 

The Oregon Water Resources Department denied the application from Red Flat Nickel Corp. to use water for drilling after determining “that the proposed water use will impair or be detrimental to the public interest,” according to the Final Order from OWRD.

Red Flat Nickel Corp. could still pursue exploratory drilling for valuable metals like nickel and chrome in its 3,000-acre Cleopatra claim site, just north of the California-Oregon border and less than 1 mile east of the Wild and Scenic-designated North Fork Smith River. But the company would have to fly in, or deliver by other means, water for drilling or it would have to resubmit a permit to OWRD to use surface water.

Phone calls and emails to agents of Red Flat Nickel Corp. were not immediately returned. 


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