Local environmental organizations like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Inyo and local citizens celebrated the suspension on Thursday, as K2 Gold had a significant opposition to their drilling project since they became involved in 2019. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, K2 Gold and Mojave Precious Metals intended to create an open-pit cyanide heap leach gold mine on Conglomerate Mesa, as well as exploratory drilling, helicopter exploration, and road construction.
Conglomerate Mesa is 5,000 acres of public land, situated between the Eastern Sierra mountain range and Death Valley National Park. It is sacred indigenous land, still utilized today by the Nüümu (Paiute), Newe (Shoshone), and Timbisha Shoshone Nations from Payahuunadü (the Owens Valley) for many purposes including hunting, exploration, and pinyon nut gathering.
There are also some species of plants found on Conglomerate Mesa that can be found nowhere else in the world other than the White-Inyo mountain range. Inyo rock daisies, Mojave fishhook cacti, Shockley’s rockcress, Badger Flat threadplant, Jaeger’s hesperidanthus, and Parry’s monkeyflower are a few examples.
On Thursday, Friends of the Inyo said in an Instagram post: “Conglomerate Mesa is, after all, worth more than gold, and is definitely the treasure at the end of the rainbow of hope all of us have had for its protection. Thanks to all who have supported this effort. More news to follow, but for now, time to celebrate – responsibly, please! Smiles and cheers all around!”
More information on the Protect Conglomerate Mesa Project can be found here.