Does the world need more chromite?
The mineral sands industry is an important component to both local and national economies. Reliable supplies of mineral sands play a critical role in meeting the economic and national security needs of the U.S. The U.S. currently has no domestic chromite production.
Will having a local supply of chromite benefit Pacific Northwest foundry’s?
Yes. Currently U.S. foundries are facing strong competition from overseas foundries. ORC will offer a quality product at a competitive price due to lower transportation costs.
Is this a large mining operation?
No. Compared to major world mineral sands deposits, the known deposits in southwestern Oregon are relatively small. However, the suite of minerals of chromite, garnet and zircon are significant and unique in their high concentration. For example, other mineral sands mined in the U.S. (Florida, Georgia and Virginia) average 3 to 10 percent minerals. The mineral sands found in southwestern Oregon contain 30 to 60 percent mineral saturation. This allows the Company to impact a smaller area, construct a smaller plant and still remain economically viable.
Who regulates your industry?
Our operations will be closely regulated by County, State and Federal agencies, including the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL), United States Army Corps of Engineers, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but to provide a broad overview of the extensive regulations governing ORC.
Are any of the minerals harmful?
No. These minerals are naturally occurring and have been present for hundreds of thousands of years without ill effect to the environment or the community.
What is the difference between Chromite and Chromium?
Chromite is a naturally occurring brown to black colored mineral of the spinel group (Fe, Mg)(Cr,Al)2O4. It occurs in octahedral crystals as an accessory mineral in basic and ultrabasic igneous rock (such as those in the Klamath Mountains). Because chromite is resistant to chemical and mechanical weathering, it will find its way into concentrations in stream channels and ocean beaches, where wave actions segregate minerals according to density.
Chromium is a naturally occurring element that helps comprise the mineral chromite (Fe, Mg)(Cr,Al)2O4. Chromium is used in the hardening of steel alloys and in the production of stainless steels. It is also used in decorative plating and as a pigment in glass.
How will ORC have a positive impact on the local economy?
The Company is committed to strengthening economic growth and employment in Coos County. Examples are:
- $3.5M in annual payroll.
- $4M in annual expenses in goods and services.
- $75M in capital expenditures.
- 130,000 tons of product shipped annually by water, rail and truck.
- Utilization of the natural gas line.
- Construction contracts for the plant and plant site.
- Property and business taxes.
- Partnerships with Southwestern Oregon Community College.
- Support of local non-profits.
Will you hire from the local communities?
There will be employment opportunities for both technical and non-technical personnel. Many of the skills required are similar to those required by the forestry industry and we believe that the local citizen has transferable skills for many of the positions that will be available.
Please outline your trucking route from the mine site.
Click here to view map of the trucking route.
The mine sites are located adjacent to West Beaver Hill Road. Accessing the mine sites will be by logging roads that intersect West Beaver Hill Road. Our trucks will travel on West Beaver Hill Road to US 101 to our processing plant in Coos Bay. The processing plant is located off Mullen Road in the Bunker Hill area of Coos Bay.
At this time, we anticipate approximately 86 round trips per 24 hour day, 340 days per year.
The safety of all Coos County residents and visitors alike is of top priority to ORC. The company intends to partner with a trucking company that will develop (with ORC) a “Good Neighbor Policy.” More information will be posted as it becomes available.
Will ORC’s mining contaminate or disturb local water supplies?
Extensive research on the part of ORC has shown that our mining will not have any ill effect on local water tables. There are three main reasons:
1.ORC’s operation does not require accessing groundwater via wells or other methods and thus will not reduce water supply to the community.
2.Our extensive exploratory drilling on the sites revealed no saturation zones that would identify regionally important groundwater aquifers.
3.The mine sites are separated from existing wells by deeply incised drainages. These drainages result in hydrologic isolation of groundwater aquifers located on opposite sides of the drainage, in effect, isolating the mine sites from any existing water wells.
Does the processing plant use any environmentally harmful chemicals?
No. One chemical used will be flocculants to settle out solids from processing water in the plant so it can be recycled into the system. The flocculants used are the same used by municipalities to provide potable water to communities.
Will there be any drill and blast methods used to mine the sites?
No. Excavation of the sites will consist of track mounted excavators and rubber tired loaders.
What are the Company’s dust suppression, fire suppresion and gorse control plans?
Please click on the applicable link to review ORC’s detailed plans.
What is ORC’s Reclamation Plan?
Restoration of the mine sites is designed to be part of the on-going operation. The non-mineralized sands will be returned to the site and along with overlying terrace sands will be continuously moved to backfill excavated areas. The site will be contoured to a natural setting before reforestation. Sites can be reclaimed to timber lands, cranberry bogs, grazing lands, wet lands, or housing blocks, depending on zoning and practical desired use.
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