A private company with mineral rights will be conducting a mining survey in the Grade Creek/Camp Creek area of Cecil D. Andrus WMA.
The geophysical survey involves laying a wire along the ground across an extended area with small probes placed into the ground. The work on the WMA will take place in an area of about 1.5 sq. mi. or 960 acres, roughly 4 percent of the total acreage of the WMA.
Hercules Silver Corp. intends to continue their exploratory mining operation during October and there is likely to be drilling occurring in the same general location as was provided for the geophysical surveys earlier in the month.
The drilling operation will include several sampling locations on the Grade Creek Road. Consequently, portions of the Grade Creek Road and tertiary roads will be closed to the public. The public can expect motorized access closures beginning approximately 1.5 miles up the Grade Creek Road. Fish and Game staff may opt to forgo giving out keys to the area during those times when drilling operations impede motorized public access. Drilling operations are expected to last 2-4 weeks.
While Fish and Game owns the surface rights to much of the property associated with Andrus WMA in the Grade Creek/Camp Creek area, the subsurface rights are either owned by the federal government (administered by the Bureau of Land Management) or owned by a private company. The previous owners of the property provided subsurface rights for mineral extraction to a private mining company in the late 1960s.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s several exploratory drilling operations have occurred on the property. The mineral rights and the neighboring private property were recently purchased by a new company that has an interest in exploring the potential for commercial mineral extraction.
Hunters with questions can contact the Southwest Region Office at 208-465-8465, or the Cecil D. Andrus WMA at 208-257-3363.