17 Mar

Lone Pine, CA – March 16, 2021 - Recent LA Times reporting has covered the Mojave Precious Metals (“MPM”) project in Inyo County, California. While MPM welcomes scrutiny and analysis of the project, the article includes several inaccuracies about the exploration industry and MPM as a company and does not accurately portray our project.

CEO of MPM, Steve Swatton, stated: “We are committed to engaging the community on the facts surrounding our current exploration work and the benefits of the project to Inyo County residents. Whether you support or oppose our project, we believe it’s essential for every member of the community to make their own informed decision.”

The summary below addresses the most critical statements and inaccuracies in the LA Times article in order to set the record straight. MPM would like to provide the community with the facts needed to make an informed decision about our Mojave project in Inyo County.

Myth: “MPM/K2 is imminently planning an open pit, heap leach mine in Inyo County.”

FACT: MPM IS AN EXPLORATION COMPANY AND NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF MINE DEVELOPMENT

Should the current exploration work prove a viable mineral reserve, mining would still be years away, and following federal and state environmental review processes. Importantly, exploration has not yet shown this site viable for mining; as such, it is far too early to speculate about the methods by which mining could take place.

Further, California’s environmental laws – some of the strictest and most rigorous in the world – together with federal land management rules require extensive public review and local community meetings. 

The permit process, which includes consideration of laws such as the Clean Water Act; Clean Air Act; Endangered Species Act; National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); Wilderness Act; and National Historic Preservation Act, ensures that any proposed mining operations meet strict standards for cultural and environmental protection.

MPM adamantly rejects calculated attempts to mislead the public with inaccuracies about accepted processes that comparable, modern California mines have used safely for decades. In perpetuating these inaccuracies, it therefore undermines the very review process and environmental protections that make California an international leader in environmental conservation and sustainability.

Myth: Our operations are proceeding over the objections of tribal nations.

FACT: MPM IS WORKING TOWARD POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE LEADERS OF LOCAL TRIBES THROUGH SELF-INITIATED TRIBAL ENGAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS MONITORING

As part of our exploration activity, MPM is engaging directly with tribal leaders. It is MPM’s priority to respect tribal sovereignty and self-governance in a regular and meaningful coordination of information. As such, MPM continues to actively engage with all tribes who have expressed interest in our exploration efforts.

To further that respect and recognition, MPM voluntarily asked local tribal cultural monitors be on-site to monitor our exploration activities. We will continue this involvement with tribal monitors moving forward in all future exploration efforts. If you have any concerns or questions regarding this process, please reach out to info@mojavepreciousmetals.com as we are eager to speak with any and all stakeholders.

MYTH: Federal mining laws allow for mining “without compensating the taxpayers who own the land” and “let[s] industry off the hook for cleanup costs at abandoned mines.”

FACT: FEDERAL MINING LAWS GENERATE TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN STATE, LOCAL AND FEDERAL TAXES AND OTHER FEES

We have, and will continue to pay all local, state and federal taxes for the work we complete in Lone Pine. Since establishing our brick-and- mortar office in Lone Pine, California in August 2020, MPM has spent $2.0 million on our exploration efforts. This number includes the salaries of local hires and expenditures at many local businesses.

Additionally, comparable mines in California have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in property, sales, employment and other taxes benefitting the state and local government and the public.

Further, industry is far from “off the hook for cleanup costs.” In California, mines must post a bond guarantee so that any unmet environmental and reclamation requirements can be addressed without use of public funds.

California has the strictest environmental standards – including the need for mining operations to obtain bonds to cover cleanup costs – the threat of an “abandoned mine” in Inyo County is utterly false.

These are the facts

We earnestly support public engagement, and the feedback and insights offered have value; but that value is diluted when the narrative diverges from the facts.

Steve Swatton stated: “MPM is as committed today as we were when we first began evaluating this project. We believe that – in partnership with stakeholders across California and Nevada – MPM can create real and lasting economic opportunity and help bring a productive and environmentally sustainable future to this important – and beautiful – part of the Eastern Sierra.”

Mojave Precious Metals is engaged in mineral exploration in Inyo County – a region with a rich and long mining history that dates to the 1800s. MPM is proud to be a part of the community, invest in Inyo County, and support its people and institutions in a responsible and respectful manner.

For further information about Mojave Precious Metals, please contact our office in Lone Pine, California +1 (760) 614-5605 or email us at info@mojavepreciousmetals.com.