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Tue, May 11

Public feedback sought for proposed Williams Pozzolan Mine

Public comments can now be submitted to the U.S. Forest Service for a proposed pozzolan mine that would be located nine miles north of Williams. (Photo/USFS)

Public comments can now be submitted to the U.S. Forest Service for a proposed pozzolan mine that would be located nine miles north of Williams. (Photo/USFS)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. – Members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback on the preliminary environmental assessment for the proposed Williams Pozzolan Mine.

Drake Cement, LLC is proposing to mine natural pozzolan, which is used to supplement and enhance cement and other materials, on claims approximately nine miles northeast of the city of Williams in and around an existing quarry known as Frenchy Pit.

Drake proposes to remove approximately 300,000 to 500,000 tons annually using standard open-pit mining methods within a 65-acre project area that, by design, excludes known archaeological sites and wildlife concerns. No blasting would occur. Material would be transported off-site by truck via Forest/County Road 74 to Interstate 40. Drake would implement reclamation activities when mining is completed.

Pozzolan is a natural material that can be added to cement to strengthen and increase the density of concrete. It is an alternative to fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants. With recent decreases in coal-fired power plants, the availability of fly ash is declining.

Kaibab National Forest will hold a virtual “office hours” session May 6 from 3-4 p.m. to give the public an opportunity to ask questions. A meeting link will be made available on the project website under the “analysis” tab.

The EA, which discloses the potential impacts of the proposed mine, and other project documents can be found on the project webpage, www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58789.

Specific, written comments should be emailed or postmarked by May 14. Comments must be in writing and may be delivered electronically, by mail, or by fax. Hand-delivered comments are not currently being accepted because of COVID-19 safety measures. Electronic comments, including attachments, may be emailed to comments-southwestern-kaibab@usda.gov. Include “Drake Pozzolan Project” in the subject line. Submit comments by mail to Kaibab National Forest, Attn: Marcos Roybal, Environmental Coordinator, 800 South 6th Street, Williams, AZ 86046. Fax comments to (928) 635-8208, and use the subject line “Drake Pozzolan Project.”

Information provided by Kaibab National Forest

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