DENVER - State regulators will decide the fate of a controversial gold mine in La Plata Canyon on Wednesday.
The Mined Land Reclamation Board has two decisions to make about the Idaho mine, owned by San Diego-based Wildcat Mining Corp. First, it will consider punishing the mine owners for operating without a permit. Second, the board will decide whether to reissue the permit it revoked last year.
Wildcat had secured its state permit in March 2007 but lost it last August after it failed to put up a bond. State regulators later cited the mine for building a road despite a lack of a mining permit.
If the board decides Wednesday to reinstate the permit, Wildcat still would need to post a bond before it actually receives the permit and can start working on the mine again, said Dave Berry of the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety.
La Plata Canyon is dotted with old mines, but most of them shut down in the 1940s. Many neighbors oppose Wildcat's plans to reopen the Idaho mine and mill.
The hearing will be in Denver at 9 a.m. The board's staff is setting up a conference call so people from Southwest Colorado can participate.