General Assembly Passes Bill to Study Gold Mining, but Removes Gold Mine Moratorium

The General Assembly passed HB 2213, Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s (D-Prince William) bill to create a work group of scientists, local representatives, activists and state officials to study the impacts of gold mining. Although the bill originally included a two-year moratorium on permits for new gold mines bigger than 10 acres, the Senate removed that clause before passing the bill Tuesday 23 to 16. The House passed the amended version Thursday 56 to 43, sending it to the Governor for final approval.

Read More

Bill Temporarily Blocking Gold Mining Moves Through Virginia House

After Canadian mining exploration company Aston Bay Holdings began exploring Buckingham County for gold, Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) introduced HB2213, which prohibits the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy from authorizing permits for gold mining while studies are conducted with the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice and other stakeholders.

Read More

Canadian Company Caught Quietly Exploring for Gold in Buckingham County

Buckingham County officials discovered Canadian mining company Aston Bay Holdings sample drilling in parts of the region for gold deposits, in violation of zoning requirements, according to minutes from a planning commission meeting. After stopping the company in June from continuing its exploration, Buckingham officials have been holding meetings and public hearings to decide whether or not to allow Aston Bay Holdings to continue its core drilling. The issue is the latest conflict of environmentalists and mineral extraction businesses fighting for local support in Virginia.

Read More