BLM cleans up Pine Nut mine | RecordCourier.com

BLM cleans up Pine Nut mine

Staff Reports

The reclamation of the abandoned Veta Grande Mill mine site in the Pine Nut Mountains has been completed, according to the Bureau of Land Management, Carson City Field Office.

Reclamation stabilized mine waste, eliminated safety concerns relating to on-site tailings dams, and reduced the impact of mine contaminants migrating to local surface water and groundwater resources.

The $280,000 project was awarded to American Asphalt and Grading (American) on Sept. 30, 2004, and was completed on Dec. 30, except for a small amount of seeding that has been delayed due to the heavy snows experienced in western Nevada this winter. American dismantled the old millsite, abandoned on-site wells, removed over 200 tons of debris, and seeded and fenced most of the reclaimed areas.

The reclamation work also involved moving approximately 54,000 cubic yards of mill tailings contained in five impoundments and capping the tailings with clean cover soil. Five, tailings dams, which were considered safety hazards to residents living below the mine by the State of Nevada, were dismantled and drainage channels constructed for run-on/run-off controls.

The source of the cyanide at the old Veta Grande mine site was removed via contract in December 2002. Since the removal, water tests have shown that the trace levels of cyanide in nearby residential water wells remain below the EPA Drinking Water Standard of 0.2 mg/L and continued to decrease.

The Veta Mine site, also known as the Mammoth Mine, covers about 90 acres of public land in Douglas County.

The gold and silver mine dates back to 1862 and was abandoned in the late 1980s by Veta Grande Mining Company, which did not follow through with a reclamation plan. Since then, the BLM has undertaken clean-up of the site.

The BLM has restricted access to the site, and continues to collect water and soil samples.