WASHINGTON — Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), along with original co-sponsors Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) and Joe Heck (R-Nev.), announced last week the introduction of the Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act. The bill would convey approximately 10,000 acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the city of Yerington for commercial, industrial, recreational and cultural development. The city and Lyon County are seeking to leverage the substantial infrastructure investments being made by Nevada Copper at its nearby Pumpkin Hollow project.
“Down, but not out, the people of Yerington are taking control of their community’s future with this plan,” Amodei said. “The potential of the Pumpkin Hollow project has been discussed for a long time. But now, thanks to the private investment of Nevada Copper and the public vision of the community stakeholders, the path to jobs and growth is clear.”
“With the highest unemployment rate in the nation, this job-creating project is so important not only for the people of Yerington and Lyon County, but for the entire state,” Berkley said in a press release. “As we move forward, I would be supportive of additional considerations for conservation. However, this is an important step toward getting Nevadans back to work.”
At more than 16 percent, Yerington has the highest unemployment rate in Nevada, according to a statement from Amodei’s office.
Nevada Copper, which broke ground on the Pumpkin Hollow project on Saturday, invested nearly $50 million in exploration to justify the $1 billion investment necessary to fully develop the mine. Pumpkin Hollow is expected to produce 250 to 300 million pounds of copper per year. The initial shaft sinking will lead to immediate creation of 30 to 40 jobs, as well as 250 to 500 construction jobs that could start in 2013 if the land transfer is successful. At full operation in 2015-2016, Pumpkin Hollow is projected to employ 750 to 800 people.