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Mine requests water from conservancy district board
by Kristen Daniel
Jun 27, 2012 | 720 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
IRON COUNTY – The Central Iron County Water Conservancy District’s board of directors heard a request from Dale Gilbert for water needs at the iron mine west of Cedar City in the Iron Springs area at their meeting last Thursday.

Dale Gilbert, president and CEO of CML Metals, requested permission to build a 12-inch pipeline that would tie into the CICWCD system, and that the district approve 600 gallons per minute through the line, although 200 gallons per minute would be the amount the mine would use once they are at stabilization. The amount of water needed would increase over the 200 gpm when the mine expands, however.

Gilbert said the mine is in need of water, but was quick to point out that the mine has resources and is not in danger of stalling operations.

He said wells have dried up and issues with water supply have arisen creating the need, and that he must establish double redundancy with the supply of water to the mine. This pipeline and commitment would accomplish double redundancy to ensure the mine, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, would never be in danger of stalling production.

CICWCD General Manager George Mason was in favor of the agreement but said providing the water would require the district construct a new pumping station and other infrastructure improvements to ensure they could provide the water to CML and all residential costumers and maintain redundancy in their own system.

Gilbert said he understood the first priority was to the citizens, and that they were willing to do whatever was required to make things work.

“We want to be good neighbors and good partners,” Gilbert said. “We are willing to do whatever we can … we have been very open … It has to be a deal that is good for everyone.”

As the mine continues to expand, Gilbert said they will need more water and that the district would provide greater volumes of water up to 1,000 gallons per minute at times, if one of their other water sources experience complications.

He also said the size of the pipe is sufficient that other citizens or businesses could connect to it and it could assist development in the area.

District Engineer Rod Mills said this type of venture is quite commonplace and will require a development agreement between all parties and that the technicalities can easily be ironed out. Mills expressed that this agreement would be in the best interest of all parties and that the district would benefit greatly from the added revenue.

Board Chair Brent Hunter expressed concern that this amount of water would further deplete the aquifer and that water needs such as this in the valley were exactly why their efforts such as the Coal Creek recharge project are so important.

Gilbert said they had water rights in water district 71 that could be transferred to the district that may mitigate the water being supplied them though the district.

He also said they investigated where the water was in the valley and that the CICWCD has the greatest amount of redundancy in their system.

Board member Paul Cozzens said they have a responsibility to the taxpayers and the mine may have to bare most of the financial burden for the infrastructural improvements.

The general consensus of the board was that the arrangement could work for the benefit of all parties involved, and they moved to continue with investigations, negotiations and move forward with the request.

It was motioned that the board would meet again, very likely within the week, to expedite the process as needed by Gilbert and the mine. The actual date and time of the next meeting was not set at press deadline.

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