STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. — On November 15, 2022, the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC) issued its Recommended Decision in the appeal of the mining permit issued to Nexgen Silica, LLC.
The AHC recommends that the Nexgen mining permit be reversed.
In February 2022, Nexgen applied to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Land Reclamation Program (Program) for a mining permit.
In March 2022, Nexgen advised the Program that Nexgen entered into a mining lease agreement. Subsequently, the mining permit was issued to Nexgen.
Operation Sand, LLC, a group comprised of local residents opposing the proposed silica frac sand mine, appealed the mining permit to the AHC.
In the appeal, Operation Sand alleged that in its application Nexgen failed to identify all persons with an interest in the property to be mined and failed to show that it had the legal right to mine the property, both of which are legal requirements for permit applications.
Also, Operation Sand alleged the Program failed to fully investigate the application, including the mine lease agreement, as required by law.
Specifically, the appeal alleged the Program never requested a copy of or conducted any review of the mine lease agreement.
Further, Operation Sand alleged that had the program investigated the mine lease agreement, it would have determined the agreement was not a lease, but was only an option contract which did not convey any mineral rights to Nexgen to mine the property.
In its Recommended Decision, the AHC concluded “Nexgen’s permit application was incomplete in that it failed to list all persons with a property interest in the mine plan area and a source granting it a legal right, rather than an option to obtain that right, to mine that property.” In particular, the AHC stated, “… it is clear that the Program’s procedure for investigating applications led it to issue Nexgen’s permit unlawfully.”
“We are elated that the AHC recommends that the mining permit be reversed,” said Jillian Ditch Anslow, managing member of Operation Sand. “Throughout this process, Operation Sand and all its supporters have expressed concerns about the potential harmful impacts from silica frac sand mining on the health of area residents and the environment,” added Anslow.
“The AHC recommendation goes to the Missouri Mining Commission for a final decision,” said Leigh McNail, another Operation Sand member. “Everyone who is opposed to this permit should write to the Missouri Mining Commission and urge them to adopt the AHC recommendation,” added McNail.
The Chair of the Missouri Mining Commission is: Dr. Gregory Haddock, Ph.D
Associate Provost of Graduate Studies and Special Programs
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive
Maryville, MO 64468
“The Mining Commission has not set a date for when the final decision on the
permit appeal will be held,” said Stephen Jeffery, Operation Sand’s attorney.
Click here for the full decision: