The old pulp mill site from above by Jennifer Savage.

Back in February, US Mine Corporation revealed plans to propose an ore-to-gold processing plant on the Samoa Peninsula. The Yuba City-based company had set its sights on the former Evergreen pulp mill and reached out to the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, owners of the property, with a request for the agency to grant a six-month exclusive right to negotiate. 

Humboldt County residents reacted strongly to the idea of installing a new chemically dependent plant – gold is commonly extracted using cyanide – on the freshly cleaned up site, filling the Harbor District meeting room to capacity. In reaction to community outcry, Commissioners Richard Marks, Mike Wilson, Aaron Newman and Pat Higgins voted to allow US Mine only a three-month window in which to further detail the project describing the proposed development, site plans and funding sources. (Commissioner Greg Dale was absent.) (See the Times-Standard‘s comprehensive coverage of that meeting here.)

Yesterday, US Mine Corporation officially withdrew its proposal.

In a letter to Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation Executive Director Jack Crider, Scott Dockter, President of US Mine Corp, said, “In our final analysis of the proposal, we determined we could not accept the risk involved with the significant effort and substantial cost it would have taken to receive agency and public approval.”

Environmental watchdog nonprofit Humboldt Baykeeper sent the following email:

Humboldt Baykeeper is relieved that US Mine Corp realized after the standing-room-only public hearing that its proposal was not a good fit for Humboldt Bay. Thanks to everyone who spoke up for a healthy bay and against industries that would put our bay at risk.

We wish the District success in its search for environmentally-appropriate industries to use the former pulp mill.


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Pulp Mill Cleanup Officially Underway!