I am very concerned about the lack of existing regulations and bonding requirements for large-scale metals mining, and in particular, the impact it could have on communities dependent on the James River as a drinking source. Large-scale gold mining is a notoriously toxic process, as are the related waste materials. As the Commonwealth is already blighted with unreclaimed gold mines, attention should be focused on making those sites safe and preventing contamination into Virginia waterways, rather than increasing risk.
Additionally, Virginia’s lack of regulatory oversight makes it especially susceptible to bad actors and polluters. We can see this play out in other extractive industries in the Commonwealth. An industry that could potentially damage the drinking water resources for millions - the James River - is unacceptable. Please conclude that this industry would harm Virginia’s people and places, and do not allow this industry.