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A controversial gold mine could come to Fremont County, residents speaking out

Research about gold on Dawson Mountain first began back in 2012, according to residents in the area
Posted at 7:39 PM, Aug 12, 2021

FREMONT COUNTY — As conversations regarding a controversial gold mine coming to Fremont County are pushing forward, the opposed to the idea are pushing back.

"What they do to that land will affect all of us, we know that if people don't step up and go to meetings and inform themselves, and let the powers know, that there will be a gold mine," said Cindy Smith, one of the concerned citizens who is helping spearhead savefremontcounty.org. The website was recently developed as a display of concerns to raise awareness in the community about the possibility of a gold mine coming to town.

Zephyr Minerals, a foreign company who owns part of Dawson Mountain in Fremont County, officially applied for a mining permit with the state of Colorado earlier this summer.

The deadline for anyone opposed to the mine to get their complaints in to Colorado's Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety is September 1, 2021.

"I am so concerned about water, and water. I'm concerned about water depletion, I'm concerned about chemicals and pollution in water," said Smith.

The area being considered sits in close proximity to homes and downtown Cañon City.

Michael Gromowski, the leader of the Arkansas Valley Conservation Coalition (AVCC), says one of his biggest concerns is potential wildfires.

"840 Gallons of diesel fuel up here every month, we don't need that mixed with sparks and cigarettes in the middle of a tinderbox."

Those who live just below the mountain also have concerns, some even putting up signs that read "No Dawson Gold Mine" in bold, red letters.

Signs in the yards of those living in Fremont County who oppose the mine.

Both Fremont County's planning commission and the state's DRMS declined to comment in a formal interview. However, the state did send News 5 a statement saying that, as far as safety concerns go:

"The Act and Rules are designed to protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of Colorado and MSHA regulates underground mines for worker safety."

The state's deadline to approve or deny the mining permit is December 13, 2021. After that, the county will have to give another approval.