Congressman Mick Mulvaney says a renewed gold mine in his district would turn a depressed area into a boomtown again.
A Toronto-based company Remarco Minerals wants to invest in the Haile Gold Mine in Lancaster County and has spent years making its case to re-open the site in the town of Kershaw. A public hearing is scheduled on April 24th, a major step before the Army Corps of Engineers finishes an environmental impact statement.
“It’s not exactly a booming place and we would love to have not only jobs down there but the chance for real economic development, a chance to put Kershaw County and southern Lancaster County on the map when it comes to a modern-day gold rush,” Mulvaney told affiliate WCRS in Greenwood.
Mulvaney said damage to the environment has to be considered, however, with much of the area being wetlands. Read more.
“There’s obviously a lot of environmental challenges any time you want to open up a 4,000 acre facility, but that’s what they’ve been working through with the State of South Carolina and the EPA for several years,” Mulvaney said. “A lot of people who live near there are concerned with the impact on the environment –and rightly so. So the question is whether or not we can figure out a way to balance the economic interests of opening the mine with the environmental.”
“I think that they can,” he adds. “The company has shown it can do that in the past.”
Part of the allure for Mulvaney is what could make the area more than just a boomtown. Remarco Minerals wants to build an ore and metals quality (i.e. assay) testing lab there
“It would be the first major assay lab open on the East Coast in a very, very long time and has the potential to make South Carolina the center of any new gold rush on the East Coast,” Mulvaney said.
Anne Eller of WCRS in Greenwood contributed to this report.