USE OF CYANIDE IN MINING
Ballot Title: An amendment to the Constitution of Colorado concerning a prohibition of open mining for gold and silver when ore-processing methods that utilize cyanide to leach the gold and silver from ore are used, and, in connection therewith, permitting mines that are operating on or before November 7, 2000, to continue operating under existing permits, but prohibiting the modification of such permits to allow mining operations to be expanded.
Text of Proposed Constitutional Amendment:
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Colorado:
Article XVI, Colorado Constitution, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:
(1) Open mining (including open-cut and open-pit mining) for gold or silver using heap or vat leaching with cyanide ore-processing reagents is prohibited.
(2) Any such mine, as described above, operating on November 7, 2000, may continue operating under its existing permits, but the permits may not be modified to allow such operations to be expanded.
Ballot Title Setting Board
Proposed Initiative 1999-2OOO-#2151
The title as designated and fixed by the Board as follows:
AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF COLORADO CONCERNING A PROHIBITION OF OPEN
MINING FOR GOLD AND SILVER WHEN ORE-PROCESSING METHOD THAT UTILIZE CYANIDE TO LEACH
THE GOLD AND SILVER FROM ORE ARE USED, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, PERMITTING MINES
THAT ARE OPERATING ON OR BEFORE NOVEMBER 7,2000, TO CONTINUE OPERATING UNDER EXISTING
PERMITS, BUT PROHIBITING THE MODIFICATION OF SUCH PERMITS TO ALLOW MINING OPERATIONS TO
The ballot title and submission clause as designated and fixed by the Board is as follows:
SHALL THERE BE AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF COLORADO CONCERNING A
PROHIBITION OF OPEN MINING FOR GOLD AND SILVER WHEN ORE-PROCESSING METHODS THAT UTILIZE
CYANIDE TO LEACH THE GOLD AND SILVER FROM ORE ARE USED, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH,
PERMITTING MINES THAT ARE OPERATING ON OR BEFORE NOVEMBER 7,2000, TO CONTINUE OPERATING
UNDER EXISTING PERMITS, BUT PROHIBITING THE MODIFICATION OF SUCH PERMITS TO ALLOW MINING
OPERATIONS TO BE EXPANDED?
The summary prepared by the Board is as follows:
This measure enacts an amendment to the Colorado Constitution prohibiting open mining, including open-cut and open-pit mining, for gold and silver using heap or vat leaching if the mining operation uses cyanide ore processing. In addition, the measure allows any mining operations that are operating on November 7, 2000, to continue operating under existing permits, but the measure prohibits modifying any existing permit to expand mining operations.
It is believed that the only major existing mining operation that would be affected by this measure is located near Cripple Creek, in Teller County. That mining operation could eventually shut down as a result of this measure, after deposits covered by its existing permits are exhausted. Closure of this mine could eliminate a total of644jobs in the area, including 288 jobs at the mine. When the mine is closed, local governments in the region would no longer collect about $1.3 million annually in revenue that is currently collected from property taxes, sales taxes, and severance taxes. In addition, state government would no longer collect about $224,000 annually in severance tax revenue and an unknown amount of other revenues from individual and corporate income taxes, state sales and use taxes, and permitting fees. The loss of jobs could result in increased cash disbursements from the State's unemployment insurance trust fund. It is estimated that the State Division of Minerals and Geology would incur approximately $8,000 in costs from implementing and administering the
1. Prohibiting Certain Open Pit Mining
Hearing February 16, 2000:
Single subject approved; staff draft amended; titles and summary set
Hearing adjourned 3:15p.m.
Hearing March 1, 2000:
1. Motion for rehearing submitted by proponent Colin James Henderson granted.
2. Motion for rehearing submitted by Stuart Sanderson and the Colorado Mining Association granted in part (with respect to paragraphs 4 and 6 of the motion, except for that portion of paragraph 6 that concerns litigation costs) and denied in part (with respect to paragraphs 3 and 5 and that portion of paragraph 6 that concerns litigation costs).
3. Motion for rehearing submitted by Ken Kluksdahl and Amy Mekrti granted in Dart (to the extent that the titles were amended to address arguments that titles were inaccurate, misleading, confusing, and prejudicial) and denied in Dart (with respect to all other grounds stated in the motion). Hearing adjourned 4:15p.m.
Hearing May 17, 2000:
(On remand by Colorado Supreme Court pursuant to mandate issued May 16, 2000, Case
Tides amended as directed by Court.
Hearing adjourned 6:27p.m.
Hearing May 26, 2000:
Motion for Rehearing denied (on basis of lack of jurisdiction).
Hearing adjourned 2:05p.m.