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Eastern Oregon gold mine plan revised

ONTARIO (AP) — Calico Resources Corp. officials have revised plans for their proposed gold mine, moving the processing facilities closer to the mine.

Company officials said this week that the revised plans eliminate the need for a 3.5-mile haul road. Under the original project description filed with the state agency in 2012, Calico proposed developing a gold mine on a combination of federal lands with patented lode mining claims. The processing facilities, a company statement said, would be located on private land leased to Calico.

The company's revised proposal offers a more "compact mine plan" that puts all mine components in the mine's immediate vicinity.

"It is clear to us that the improved economics from this change more than offset the additional permitting obligation involved," Calico CEO Paul Parisotto said in a statement.

Over the past several months, Calico has been involved in collecting baseline data on a variety of issues. Company representatives have collected information on environmental issues, such as air and water quality, as well as recreation, grazing, cultural and economic impacts.

Calico officials said Tuesday the company has completed studies for 18 of the 21 required baseline resources categories.

Air-quality monitoring will be completed in September, and geochemistry will continue through the permitting process, the company said.

Once the baseline reports are approved by a single technical review team that blends all state regulatory interests in a single coordinated process, the company will make formal permit process to operate the mine, said Andy Bentz, a consultant for Calico.

Filing a formal application will begin the 300-plus day time period in which the state has to respond and issue a decision, Bentz said.

If the application is submitted in the last quarter of this year, a decision could be made by the last quarter or end of 2016, he said.

"There's still lots of work to be done," Bentz said.

It is expected that the mine would provide 200 construction jobs, 150 full-time jobs during its operation and create 200 indirect jobs, officials have said in past reports