Idarado and the Town of Telluride Reach Agreement on Bridal Veil Water System

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12/11/2012

DENVER and Telluride, Colo., Dec. 11, 2012 – The Telluride Town Council today approved a comprehensive settlement agreement (the “Agreement”) between the Idarado Mining Company (“Idarado”), a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM), and the Town of Telluride (the “Town”) regarding the Bridal Veil Water Rights and Water System near Telluride, Colo.

The Agreement, which will be finalized and executed by Idarado and the Town, is designed to balance the Town’s current and future water needs, including municipal drinking water to be supplied by the Pandora Water Treatment Plant (PWTP), and the water quality conditions in the San Miguel River.

“This is an important agreement for the Town of Telluride that addresses an urgent need to enhance our current water supply and ensure future water needs,” said Stuart Fraser, Mayor of Telluride. “I am very pleased that the Town and Idarado were able to come together to provide the Telluride community with a more reliable water source while also protecting the water quality of the San Miguel River. While it took years of hard work on all sides of this issue to reach this resolution, it is satisfying that both Telluride and Idarado will meet their respective water needs in a mutually acceptable manner.”

“Idarado takes its obligations to meet environmental standards very seriously, and we appreciate the Town agreeing to divert less water in the winter months, which should help maintain in-stream water quality conditions in the San Miguel River at or below the required levels,” said Nick Cotts, Group Executive of Environmental and Social Responsibility at Newmont. “We look forward to working with the Town to maintain the right balance so this important water source benefits both the community and the environment.”

The terms of the Agreement are for 20 years and are summarized in the following:

  • During the Winter Period (Oct. 16 – May 15) – the Town agrees to divert lower flows of water from the Bridal Veil Basin during the winter months when the Town’s needs are lower and when it is most important to have more water in the San Miguel River to ensure in-stream water quality conditions. The Town will then utilize the Mill Creek facility for additional water demands during this period. Should the Town’s demands require it to divert additional water from the Bridal Veil Basin after fully utilizing its Mill Creek facility, it may do so under certain conditions. 
  • During the Summer Period (May 16 – Oct. 15) – because the Town’s water demands are significantly higher during the summer, the Town may divert increased flows of water from the basin to the PWTP provided there is a continual flow over Bridal Veil Falls. The Town will then utilize the Mill Creek facility for additional water demands during this period. Should the Town’s demands require it to divert additional water from the Bridal Veil Basin after fully utilizing its Mill Creek facility, it may do so under certain conditions. 
  • For years 11-20, the Agreement allows for modifications based on the Town’s water use and the in-stream water quality conditions in the San Miguel River. If necessary, good faith efforts will be made by the Town to reduce its water demands and by Idarado to implement additional remedial measures to address in-stream water quality conditions in the San Miguel River.

 

The Agreement also outlines projects Idarado will undertake to make the Bridal Veil Water System more efficient, including an upgrade to the Blue Lake supply pipeline that diverts water from Bridal Veil Creek into Blue Lake. In addition, Idarado has approved the Town’s plans to construct a hydroelectric facility at the PWTP, which will use Idarado water at no cost to the Town.

For more information about the Agreement, please visit www.telluride-co.gov.