Deeds and WeedsFebruary 6, 2009

Mining Company Wants to Dig Near Bandon Dunes

Oregon's Bandon Dunes Golf Resort has had so much success since it opened its original course in 1999 -- and brought so much business activity to the North Bend area -- one would assume the facility gets pretty much whatever it wants from its neighbors and local government officials.

That's why this week's announcement from Oregon Resources Corp., which operates a mine just north of the resort, came as such a surprise -- particularly to Bandon Dunes officials.

A representative of Oregon Resources said the company was considering mining chromite at a 2,000-acre pit known as Shepard site, which is about a mile from where Bandon Dunes is currently building its fourth golf course, Old MacDonald. The Old Macdonald project, which will include 600 housing units for resort guests, is scheduled to open in 2011.

According to this report in The World, a newspaper in Coos Bay, in August 2007 Oregon Resources announced it "was no longer interested in" the Shepard site. This came after discussions between the company and Bandon Dunes. The resort is opposed to any mining activity so close to its property.

"Obviously it's of concern," Bandon Dunes attorney Al Johnson told The World aftert his week's apparent change of heart by Oregon Resources. "We had no advanced knowledge and we're still in the dark."

-- G.R.