Order Reprint of this Story October 28, Army Corps of Engineers said the plan met all federal requirements.

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Romarco will substantially expand the site of the old Haile Gold Mine, which has a history dating to the s. The only other key permit it needs is one from the state to mine the property. Launching operations in January also depends on completing a financing package for the work, Garrett said. The mine would operate about 15 years.

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On Tuesday, the Corps announced the approval of permits to fill acres of wetlands to construct the mine in a rural area of Lancaster County that Romarco says will benefit from hundreds of new jobs. The company could have workers hired by the end of this year, increasing to about by earlyGarrett said. It was not immediately clear Tuesday when the S. Department of Health and Environmental Control will make a decision on the state mining permit, but projections have been for sometime next month.

DHEC and Romarco have been at odds over the amount of bonding the company would provide to clean up the site when work is done. Romarco proposed about half of that.

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The mine project, which features a pit feet deep and will cover more than 2, acres, is a big one for South Carolina, a state with a rich history of gold mining but at a substantially smaller scale than what is planned. The project could affect up to 1, acres of wetlands when groundwater is pumped down to keep a projected eight mining pits dry. Corps officials say many wetlands, except for the acres to be destroyed, will recover when mining stops.

The project also will bury miles of streams as part of the effort to dig up 2 million ounces of gold. The Sierra Club is concerned about acid drainage that could leak from the mine and whether enough money is being left to clean up any mess the mine creates.

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Coastal Conservation League, the S.