An Arizona company announced this week it has acquired rights from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to operate a 160-acre placer gold mining claim about 50 miles north of Mojave.

Green Mining Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of publicly traded Green Plant Group Inc., based in Tempe, said in a news release it plans to begin mining for gold, silver and possibly other precious metals at the site in early June. The company estimated the mine’s value at $173 million.

The placer mine, which by definition gathers mineral deposits from stream beds, will initially employ four to six people as the company determines whether the operation is financially viable, Green Planet President and CEO Ed Lonergan said in a phone interview Wednesday. He added the mining claim was abandoned decades ago.

As its name suggests, Green Mining touts its ability to minimize negative environmental impacts, using its own soil reclamation technology, while also turning a profit on the mine.

“There will be virtually no indication there was a mine there at all,” Lonergan said.

Green Mining sells lubricants and petroleum fuel additives. It says it is developing a hydrogen generator and systems for growing organic food.

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