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NexGen Silica Mine Permit Pulled

By Michael Boyd Jr.
Herald sports editor/photographer

Calling it a “victory,” Operation Sand seems to have gotten exactly what it always wanted. After months of opposition, there will be no silica sand mine in Ste. Genevieve County.

At least for now.

The Missouri Mining Commission decided Thursday morning (1.5.2023) at a meeting in the Show-Me State’s capital to reverse its decision to allow a permit for NexGen’s silica mine in the western portion of this county.

“Operation Sand is leaving Jefferson City from the Missouri Mining Commission meeting with GREAT news!” the group said on its Facebook page today. “The Mining Commission has voted to REVOKE NexGen’s land use permit. We’ll take this victory and continue to fight to protect our town from this silica mine!”

On June 15, 2022, NexGen Silica Inc. previously obtained a permit by the MMC — a segment of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources — despite heavy opposition, mainly from Operation Sand and residents who live directly (and also not-so directly) in the area.
At that time, the mining commission issued a one-year permit to NexGen to immediately engage in surface mining of sandstone of approximately 115 acres along Missouri Highway 32 in the vicinity of Weingarten near Hawn State Park and the old rail-road tracks.
Then on Nov. 15, the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission had given its recommendation for the permit to be rescinded due to its issues with the application, thus setting up the meeting with both sides this morning in Jefferson City.
Now that permit been rescinded on a 4-1 vote today by the MMC as NexGen, Operation Sand, AHC and other citizens all attended the meeting.
“We are disappointed in the Missouri Mining Commission’s decision in this case,” an emailed statement to the Herald from NexGen Silica Inc. said. “However, the development of our overall plan is a long process, and we are confident that we will acquire our required permits to move forward with our original plan.”

Ste. Genevieve Herald news editor Mark Evans will have more in the Jan. 11 printed edition.

A sign by Operation Sand, seen in either yellow or red or white all throughout Ste. Genevieve County, including the city of Ste. Genevieve and other county townships, is shown stating its opposition to a silica sand mine by NexGen Silica Inc. in the western portion of county near Hawn State Park along Missouri Highway 32.