| NEWS RELEASE: for immediate
release May 30, 2002
CONSERVATIONISTS FILE FORMAL PROTEST OF VICEROY GOLD PATENTS WITHIN MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE AND BLM CALIFORNIA DESERT CONSERVATION AREA
Sacramento, CA -- The Western Mining Action Project recently filed a protest with the BLM California State Office against patenting mining claims and millsites to Viceroy Gold. In the early 1990's Viceroy Gold, owner of the Castle Mountain Mine, applied to patent 19 mining claims and 269 millsites in San Bernardino County, California.
Three of the millsites are entirely within the Mojave National Preserve and one is partially in the Preserve. One millsite is partially in designated park wilderness.
Western Mining Action Project acted on behalf of the Barstow-based Citizens For Mojave National Park, Tucson and Idyllwild-based Center for Biological Diversity, Washington DC and Oakland-based National Parks Conservation Association.
These groups believe that the BLM should not issue patents to any of the claims or millsites, including those outside of the Preserve. The protest lays out the reasons for this conclusion; reasons derived from the Mining Law of 1872 and the 1994 California Desert Protection Act.
The National Parks Conservation Association considers Mojave National Preserve one of the most endangered parks in the nation.
In September 2001 the same organizations filed a protest over the issuance of patents to over 670 acres of the Cima Cinder claims wholly within the Preserve. The Department of the Interior has yet to act on the Cima patent application or the protest.