BP Minerals America wants to establish an open-pit gold mine on the side of the Oquirrh Mountains to produce about 70,000 ounces of the precious metal each year.
Gregory Boyce, a company representative, told Salt Lake County planners Tuesday that the gold mine would add 200 permanent jobs to the local economy during the eight years it would be in operation.Ugly scars on the side of the mountains would be covered with new vegetation when the project has ended, Boyce said.
But state health officials said the plan raises environmental concerns. The concerns are important but not insurmountable, said Charlie Dietz, environmental engineer with the Utah Department of Health.
"This is not the best site" for a mine, Dietz said.
Boyce said the mine, in Barneys Canyon, would be much smaller than the nearby Bingham Canyon Mine. The gold mine would be 650 feet deep, he said, and the site is the only one suitable for such a project.