Last update:

Open-pit gold mine in Conglomerate Mesa, California, USA

Friends of the Inyo together with a coalition of tribal representatives conservation groups, individuals, and recreators have organized against the K2's Cyanide heap leach mining project in Conglomerate Mesa


Conglomerate Mesa is a desert region, situated next to Death Valley National Park in California, in the USA [1]. Conglomerate Mesa is the traditional homeland of the Timbishia Shoshone and Paiute Tribal Nations [1]. For both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, Conglomerate Mesa is an important environmental and cultural territory [1]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Open-pit gold mine in Conglomerate Mesa, California, USA
Country:United States of America
State or province:California
Location of conflict:Conglomerate Mesa in Inyo
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Gold
Project Details and Actors
Project details

So far what is known by Friends of the Inyao [2]:

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/04/2020
Company names or state enterprises:K2Gold from Canada
Relevant government actors:Bureau of Land Management (BLM), only a year before protected these lands by designating them as California Desert National Conservation Land [3].
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Friends of the Inyo
Sierra Club
The Center for Biological Diversity
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Timbishia Shoshone, Paiute
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Land dispossession
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The project is still in its exploration phase and many protests and strong opposition by local communities and Tribal member are taking place, including open public comment. If sufficient gold is located during the exploratory drilling phase the next step will be a proposal for an open pit cyanide heap leach gold mine [3].
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] desert Sun 2021: Voice: Protect indigenous homelands in the California desert
[click to view]

[3] Sierra Club: Conglomerate Mesa is Worth More than Gold
[click to view]

[2] Friends of the Inyo: K2 Gold wants to mine the entire mountain. Together, we will stop them.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Public comment
[click to view]

Stand for the Land rally to protect Conglomerate Mesa.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:KH ENVJUST Project ICTA-UAB
Last update05/04/2021
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