US Army Corps of Engineers
Albuquerque District

Nevada

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The Caselton Tailings project is located within the boundaries of the Los Angeles District of the Corps of Engineers.  The federal partner with the Corps for this project is the Bureau of Land Management. Mine site. The Caselton site is located on public lands administered by the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - Ely, Nevada Field Office.

 

Project Description

The Caselton Tailings Erosion Control Project is located in the Panaca Valley watershed in Lincoln County, Nevada, approximately three miles south of the town of Pioche and one mile southwest of Caselton. Mining production for silver, gold, lead, zinc, and copper began at Caselton Mine in 1869. The tailings ponds cover approximately 100 acres. A conservative estimate of 1.5 million cubic yards of potentially acid-generating tailings exist at the site. In 2003, a 3,700-foot long diversion channel was excavated to minimize contact between the tailings ponds and surface water flow. Sufficient appropriate rock was not available to armor this channel. The erosion control project will armor this diversion channel utilizing an innovative technology.

Project Goals

The goal of the project is to armor and stabilize the existing diversion channel to withstand anticipated run-off from precipitation.

Current Status

A contractor for the Bureau of Land Management, ecology and environment, inc. of Seattle Washington, has prepared the value-engineered design for this project.  The Corps of Engineers will provide project management and technical support for the installation of the innovative erosion control system.  A site visit was conducted on July 25, 2006, and minor revisions to plans and specifications are being prepared to accommodate current requirements for the project. Contract award is anticipated to occur in late August or early September 2006, with construction scheduled to occur in the fall of 2006.

Existing Documents

As documents for this project become available, they will be provided in PDF format that can be accessed by clicking on the title of the document below. The General RAMS Work Plan and General Site Safety and Health Plan are referenced in project work plans. These documents may be accessed from menu to the left. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents and may be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe Acrobat web site by clicking on Adobe Acrobat Reader above. Disclaimer: The appearance of an external hyperlink does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of this web site or the information, products, or services contained therein. USACE does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at this location.

The Easy Junior mine is located within the boundaries of the Sacramento District of the Corps of Engineers, and the project is being executed by a virtual team including Sacramento, Albuquerque, and Omaha Districts. The federal partner with the Corps for this project is the Bureau of Land Management. In June 2001, the Nevada Interagency Abandoned Mine Lands Environmental Task Force (NIAMLETF) proposed to the Western Region RAMS center a list of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) projects scattered across the State of Nevada. One of the projects identified in this proposal included the Easy Junior mine site.

This project is located within the boundaries of Sacramento District. The Easy Junior Mine site is located on public lands administered by the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - Ely, Nevada, Field Office. The site is located approximately 45 miles west of Ely, Nevada and 15 miles south of U.S. Highway 50 in the foothills of what is considered to be a portion of the Pancake Range. Average elevation of the site is 6,500 feet above sea level. Permitted site facilities included an open pit, two heap leach pads of approximately 45 acres, a barren solution pond, a settling pond, an overflow pond, a pregnant solution sump, and carbon adsorption columns. A single pit was mined with waste being hauled to the waste dumps. Ore was transported to the leach pad area and either stacked as run-of-mine ore or crushed and conveyed to the pad. A significant amount of work remains before satisfying the reclamation requirements at the Easy Junior Mine site as Alta Gold discontinued reclamation activities after filing bankruptcy.

Project Description

A site characterization study was conducted to:

  • evaluate the quality of water discharging from the head leach pad,

  • determine the extent of sulfide oxidation within the waste rock dumps and evaluate soil conditions that are inhibiting vegetative reclamation on the waste rock dumps,

  • characterize the sludge in the ponds and sump bottom,

  • identify borrow soils that can be used in reclamation of the site, and

  • determine closure requirements for the site.

Starting in the summer of 2004, construction will begin to close the site in accordance with the requirements stated in the Final Investigation Report and the Final Total Mine Reclamation Cost Estimate Report that can be viewed from the Existing Documents section below.

Project Goals

The primary goal for this site is to recontour and reclaim the existing leach pad. Additionally, an estimate of remaining reclamation costs was prepared to assist the BLM in prioritizing reclamation activities that can be funded with available bond money.

Additional funding for Nevada RAMS was received for Fiscal Year 2004. These funds will be used to prepare an Environmental Assessment and Plans and Specifications for the Closure requirements described in the Final Investigation Report and the Final Total Mine Reclamation Cost Estimate Report that can be viewed from the Existing Documents section below. BLM's available bond funds will be used for construction at this site under the Corps' Support For Others Program (see Program Authorities link).

Current Status

Field work for characterizing the site was completed in November 2002. Analytical work for a modified scope of work has also been completed. The Final Total Reclamation Cost Estimate Report and the Draft Investigation Report were completed in August 2003. All comments on the investigation report were received in September 2003. The Final Investigation Report will be issued in September 2003.

The Environmental Assessment and Conceptual Design have been completed, and the 60% Design is in preparation. The delivery order for Construction is currently in the negotiation phase and will be awarded in early August 2004. Construction started August 16, 2004.

Significant Milestones

  • November 2002 – Field Work completed

  • February 2003 – Additional analysis of soil borrow areas, process pond sludge and waste rock dump hot spot pH performed

  • March 2003 – Analytical results received

  • June 2003 -- Draft Total Reclamation Cost Estimate Report available for review and comment

  • August 2003 -- Final Total Reclamation Cost Estimate Report completed

  • August 2003 -- Draft Investigation Report available for review and comment

  • October 2003 -- Final Investigation Report completed

  • April 2004 -- Delivery Order awarded for Environmental Assessment and Conceptual Design for Site Closure

  • May 2004 -- Draft Environmental Assessment available for public review and comment

  • June 2004 -- Draft Conceptual Design for Site Closure completed

  • June 2004 -- Public Comment Period ends and Final Environmental Assessment completed

  • July 2004 -- Delivery Order awarded for 60% Design of Site Closure

  • August 2004 -- 60% Design of Site Closure prepared, reviewed, and revised

  • August 2004 -- Delivery Order awarded for Construction of Site Closure

  • August 2004 -- Construction of Site Closure measures starts

Existing Documents

As documents for this project become available, they will be provided in PDF format that can be accessed by clicking on the title of the document below. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents and may be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe Acrobat web site by clicking on Adobe Acrobat Reader above. Disclaimer: The appearance of an external hyperlink does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of this web site or the information, products, or services contained therein. USACE does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at this location.

Documents

1. Appendix A

2. Appendix B

3. Appendix C

4. Appendix D

5. Appendix E

6. Drawing 0

7. Drawing 1

8. Drawing 2

9. Drawing 3

10. Drawing 4a

11. Drawing 4b

12. Drawing 5

13. Drawing 6

14. Drawing 7a

15. Drawing 7b

16. Drawing 8

17. Drawing 9

18. Drawing 10a

19. Drawing 10b

20. Drawing 11

21. Drawing 12

22. Drawing 13a

23. Drawing 13b

24. Drawing 14

25. Drawing 15

26. Drawing 16

27. Drawing 17

28. Drawing 18

29. Drawing 19

30. Drawing 20

31. Drawing 21

32. Drawing 22

33. Drawing 23

34. Drawing 24

35. Final Investigation Report

36. Final Cost Report

37. Work Plan

38. Final Assessment

39. Final Work Plan

 

 

The Elder Creek Mine is located within the boundaries of the Sacramento District of the Corps of Engineers, and the project is being executed by a virtual team including Omaha District. The federal partner with the Corps for this project is the Bureau of Land Management. In June 2001, the Nevada Interagency Abandoned Mine Lands Environmental Task Force (NIAMLETF) proposed to the Western Region RAMS center a list of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) projects scattered across the State of Nevada. One of the projects identified in this proposal included the Elder Creek Mine site.

The Elder Creek Mine site is located on public lands administered by the US Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – Battle Mountain, Nevada Field Office. The site is located in the northern part of the Shoshone Mountains of north-central Nevada, in northern Lander County, approximately 21 miles south of Battle Mountain. Access to the site is south along State Highway 305 from Battle Mountain then for 15 miles in a southeasterly direction on an existing improved dirt road up the Mill Creek Drainage to Mill Creek Summit. The site is situated on a ridge at an elevation of 7,600 feet. The former owner and operator of the site, Alta Gold Company, filed for bankruptcy. The BLM is currently holding a reclamation bond for the site.

Project Description

The purpose of the characterization is to develop a comprehensive closure plan for the site including the leach pad, waste rock dump, process pond and process area, haul roads, and office area and access road. Closure design is underway, and construction will follow completion of the design process.

Project Goals

The goal of this project is to identify portions of the site that are adequately characterized and characterize those portions of the site that are not characterized or supportable with existing data.

Current Status

The Final Closure Plan was released in April 2005. The design for site closure is currently in preparation.

Significant Milestones

  • November 2003 - Final work plan completed

  • Spring 2004 - Field Work occurred

  • April 2005 - Final Report completed

  • March 2006 -- Draft Design completed

Existing Documents

As documents for this project become available, they will be provided in PDF format that can be accessed by clicking on the title of the document below. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents and may be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe Acrobat web site by clicking on Adobe Acrobat Reader above. Disclaimer: The appearance of an external hyperlink does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of this web site or the information, products, or services contained therein. USACE does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at this location.

The Golden Butte Mine is located within the boundaries of the Sacramento District of the Corps of Engineers, and the project is being executed by a virtual team including Omaha District. The federal partner with the Corps for this project is the Bureau of Land Management. In June 2001, the Nevada Interagency Abandoned Mine Lands Environmental Task Force (NIAMLETF) proposed to the Western Region RAMS center a list of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) projects scattered across the State of Nevada. One of the projects identified in this proposal included the Golden Butte Mine site. The Golden Butte Mine site is located on public lands administered by the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - Ely, Nevada Field Office.

Project Description

The initial scope of work for this project included the Hydrologic Analysis of Pond Overflow Potential, collection of water quality data, borrow source determination, leach pad characterization, and development of a closure plan for the site. Additionally, an estimate of remaining reclamation costs is to be determined to assist the BLM in prioritizing reclamation activities that can be funded with available bond money.

 

In Fiscal Year 2004, additional RAMS funds were made available for a demonstration project at the Golden Butte Mine that will be combined with BLM funds to design, construction, and monitor/evaluate the performance of the innovative technology being implemented at the heap leach areas at this site. Monitoring/evaluation will be performed by the University of Nevada Reno under a separate scope of work. In addition, closure of the remaining features in accordance with the closure plan provided in Existing Documents section below will be constructed using BLM funds under the Corps' Support For Others Program (see Program Authorities link). Priorities for closure will be in accordance with the same report.

Project Goals

The primary goal of the initial work at this project was to develop a closure plan for the site. The goals of the work to be performed in Fiscal Year 2004 and 2005 include the design, construction, and monitoring/evaluation of two Evaporation Basins and a leach field to test the performance of an innovative technology. Evapotranspiration Basins in Nevada have performed well initially. As draindown water from the heap leach areas enters the basins, evaporation causes the concentration of salts in the basin to increase. Eventually, the plants established on the surface of the basin are unable to cope with the increasing salinity of the water in the basin and die. The mat of vegetation on the surface serves as a cap that prevents evaporation from the basin and the system fails. Two of the ponds at this site will be converted to Evaporation Basins in series. A leach field will be constructed to handle overflow from extreme precipitation events, but it is hoped that the series will prevent draindown water inflow from exceeding capacity of the basins and eliminate all discharges to the leach field except for during extreme precipitation events. The University of Nevada Reno will work with the contractor to install monitoring equipment during construction of the basins and will independently monitor and evaluate the performance of the Evaporation Basin system over a two year period. Based on the results of this monitoring and evaluation, this system may prove useful for other abandoned mine sites throughout the State of Nevada and the western United States.

Current Status

The Environmental Assessment and Conceptual Design for Site Closure were completed in June 2004. The 60% Design is underway and will be completed in early August 2004. The delivery order for Construction for Site Closure will be negotiated and awarded in late July/early August 2004, and Construction started August 16, 2004.

Significant Milestones

  • September 2001 – Submitted Draft Scoping Report to COE

  • March 2002 – Contract Awarded

  • April 2002 – Work Plan Outline Provided

  • June 2002 - Preliminary Draft Work Plan provided for review & comment

  • July 2002 - Site visit, Draft Work Plan submitted, and comments received

  • September 2002 – Funding Pulled Back

  • October 2002 – Responses to Comments and Final Work Plan submitted

  • November 2002 – Funding Restored

  • November 2002 – Field Work Performed

  • March 2003 – Draft Closure Plan available for review and comment

  • July 2003 - Final Closure Plan completed

  • April 2004 -- Delivery Order awarded for Environmental Assessment and Conceptual Design for Demonstration Project and Site Closure

  • May 2004 -- Draft Environmental Assessment available for public review and comment

  • May 2004 -- Draft Conceptual Design for Demonstration Project and Site Closure completed

  • June 2004 -- Public Comment Period ends and Final Environmental Assessment completed

  • June 2004 -- Final Conceptual Design completed

  • July 2004 -- 60% Design of Demonstration Project and Site Closure in preparation

  • August 2004 -- Delivery Order for Construction of Demonstration Project and Site Closure in negotiations

  • August 2004 -- Construction of Demonstration Project and Site Closure begins

    Existing Documents

    As documents for this project become available, they will be provided in PDF format that can be accessed by clicking on the title of the document below. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents and may be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe Acrobat web site by clicking on Adobe Acrobat Reader above. Disclaimer: The appearance of an external hyperlink does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of this web site or the information, products, or services contained therein. USACE does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at this location.

The Johnston Mill Mine is located within the boundaries of the Sacramento District of the Corps of Engineers, and the project is being executed by a virtual team including Albuquerque and Omaha Districts. The federal partner with the Corps for this project is the Bureau of Land Management. In June 2001, the Nevada Interagency Abandoned Mine Lands Environmental Task Force (NIAMLETF) proposed to the Western Region RAMS center a list of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) projects scattered across the State of Nevada. One of the projects identified in this proposal included the Johnston Mill Mine site.

Project Description

In FY05, a site characterization and a topographic survey are planned to assist with developing a closure plan for the site. A cultural survey will be performed if it is determined to be necessary. Plans and specifications for closure will be prepared, and construction will be completed in accordance with the design.

Project Goals

The overall goal of this project is to complete closure of this site in accordance with Nevada state mine closure requirements.

Current Status

A contract was awarded for this project in July 2005. The Draft work plans were available in July 2005 for review and comment. The Final work plans will be completed in July 2005, and field sampling and topographic surveying will occur in August 2005. The Draft Reclamation Work Plan is currently available. Construction will occur in the fall of 2006.

Significant Milestones

  • July 2005 - Contract Awarded

  • July 2005 - Draft Work Plans available for review and comment

  • July 2005 - Final Work Plans completed

  • August 2005 - Field work conducted

  • February 2006 - Draft Closure Plan available for review and comment

  • February 2006 - Final Closure Plan completed

  • August 2006 - Draft Reclamation Work Plan completed

  • August 2006 - Final Reclamation Work Plan completed

Existing Documents

As documents for this project become available, they will be provided in PDF format that can be accessed by clicking on the title of the document below. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents and may be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe Acrobat web site by clicking on Adobe Acrobat Reader above. Disclaimer: The appearance of an external hyperlink does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of this web site or the information, products, or services contained therein. USACE does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at this location.

The Rip Van Winkle Mine is located within the boundaries of the Sacramento District of the Corps of Engineers, and the project is being executed by the Army Corps of Engineers.    The federal partner with the Corps for this project is the Bureau of Land Management. In June 2001, the Nevada Abandoned Mine Lands Environmental Task Force (NAMLET) proposed to the Western Region RAMS center a list of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) projects scattered across the State of Nevada. One of the projects identified in this proposal included the Rip Van Winkle Mine site.

The earlier objective of the work effort was to develop a plan for mitigating the impacts of mine waste-related contamination and acid mine drainage in support of the RAMS program. The objective was achieved by preparation of plans and specifications for the selected alternative from the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) Report.

In August 2005, under the RAMS Program the Rip Van Winkle Mine Reclamation Plan was finalized.  The Reclamation Plan generated prescribed reclamation activities to address open shafts and adits, the waste rock dump, metal contaminated mill site, and a series of tailings ponds.

In late 2008, BLM funding became available to execute the reclamation activities.  A contract was awarded by the Corps of Engineers that would allow capping of the tailing ponds, and realignment of streams to divert away from the capped tailings.  During late 2009, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funded for remediation fo the contaminated mill site, and to allow for seeding and fencing of the preciously capped mine tailings. 

 

Project Goals

The overall goal of this project is to mitigate the impacts of mine waste related contamination and acid mine drainage from the site in order to ensure that waters of the State of Nevada are not degraded and environmental risk factors are addressed and minimized to the extent practicable.  Other reclamation objectives include protecting public safety providing a final landform compatible with the natural surroundings and promoting revegetation.

Current Status

The Final Reclamation Plan was completed in August 2005.  Field remediation activities will be completed  in 2009.

Significant Milestones

  • August 2005 - Final Reclamation Plan completed.
  • December 2008 – Reclamation contract awarded
  •  2009 – Reclamation activities complete

Existing Documents

Available documents related to this project include: 

Adit Before and After Bat Gate Installation

The Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act project is located within the boundaries of the Los Angeles District of the Corps of Engineers and is being performed by a virtual team of Corps personnel from Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Omaha Districts. The federal partners with the Corps for this project include the Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, and the National Park Service. Funding for the project was provided to these three agencies by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.  Other stakeholders include the Nevada Division of Minerals.

The project site includes Clark County in and around Las Vegas, Nevada.

Project Description

Cultural surveys and biological and plant surveys will be performed on at least 330 abandoned mine sites. Based on the results of these surveys, these abandoned mines will be either backfilled or secured with bat gates/cupolas.

 

 

Shaft Before and After Cupola Installation

 

Project Goals

The goal of the project is to appropriately secure the abandoned mine sites to prevent unsafe access to the abandoned mine sites by the public. Where the abandoned mine sites are inhabited by bat populations, public access will be prevented by the installation of bat gates or cupolas on the openings into the mines (adits, shafts, etc.). Otherwise, access will be prevented by backfilling the openings into the mines in a manner that will not damage features of cultural interest or significant flora and fauna at the sites.

Current Status

The project was initiated in June 2006. A contract for cultural surveys will be awarded and managed by the Los Angeles District Corps office. Biological and plant surveys will be performed by Sacramento District. Omaha District will provide project management, funds management, and reporting, as well as either backfilling or construction and installation of bat gates and/or cupolas as appropriate.  A site visit was conducted on July 26, 2006, to view some of the more challenging sites, such as Oro Plata Mine Site headworks with multiple entrances and Jet Mine Site shaft with headworks shown below:

 

Existing Documents

As documents for this project become available, they will be provided in PDF format that can be accessed by clicking on the title of the document below. The General RAMS Work Plan and General Site Safety and Health Plan are referenced in project work plans. These documents may be accessed from menu to the left. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents and may be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe Acrobat web site by clicking on Adobe Acrobat Reader above. Disclaimer: The appearance of an external hyperlink does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of this web site or the information, products, or services contained therein. USACE does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at this location.

The Veta Grande Mine is located within the boundaries of the Sacramento District of the Corps of Engineers, and the project is being executed by a virtual team including Omaha District. The federal partner with the Corps for this project is the Bureau of Land Management. In June 2001, the Nevada Interagency Abandoned Mine Lands Environmental Task Force (NIAMLETF) proposed to the Western Region RAMS center a list of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) projects scattered across the State of Nevada. One of the projects identified in this proposal was the Veta Grande Mine site.

The Veta Grande Mine was utilized as a silver and quartz mine/mill site from the 1800’s until April 1983, and both underground and surface mining occurred. The Veta Grande Mine site is located on public lands administered by the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Carson City District, Walker Resource Area. The site is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Gardnerville, Nevada. The site encompasses an area of approximately 90 acres. The mine is up slope of 6 residences and Indian tribal allotment lands owned by the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.

 

Project Description

An evaluation of the tailings impoundment 4 was performed to develop the containment and closure plan for the impoundment. The Cyanide Heap Leach demonstration project was replaced by a demonstration project for the Gray Stockpile Material still present on site.

Project Goals

The primary goal of the project is determine the extent of a cyanide contaminated groundwater plume that has impacted neighboring residences water supply wells and to evaluate if the groundwater plume may impact lands owned by the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. The goal for the Gray Stockpile Material Demonstration Project is to determine the actual infiltration of precipitation through cover material at the site in order to determine the most cost effective cover thickness that meets the cover infilitration requirements.

Current Status

All work at this site has been completed.

Existing Documents

As documents for this project become available, they will be provided in PDF format that can be accessed by clicking on the title of the document below. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents and may be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe Acrobat web site by clicking on Adobe Acrobat Reader above. Disclaimer: The appearance of an external hyperlink does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of this web site or the information, products, or services contained therein. USACE does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at this location.