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Mine and Mill Site Remediation Projects

Mine and Mill site projects include work to cleanup ecological impacts at these sites and to eliminate exposure to individuals accessing these areas for recreational and other uses. These projects have both a human health protection and environmental restoration component. Projects listed may include work being performed by the EPA and other cooperating federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service; and work being performed by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

Constitution - The Constitution site is located along Pine Creek approximately 7.5 miles south of Pinehurst. Work at the Constitution site was conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) through an Interagency Agreement with EPA and BLM. The COE completed the remedial action construction for the Upper and Lower Constitution during CY 2006. The remedy primarily involved consolidation of mine tailings from the upper and lower mine sites into a single capped repository at the Upper Constitution Mine. Construction began in May 2006 and was completed in October 2006. The construction activities focused on the mine and mill tailings areas, remediation of the waste rock areas, the mine adit , and stream and bank stabilization work.

Lower Constitution before Remediation

Lower Constitution after Remediation

Upper Constitution before Remediation

Upper Constitution during Remediation

Golconda Mine – This site is located along the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River near Wallace and is adjacent to the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. The remediation work at this site was conducted in two phases. During 2006, EPA completed the designs for both the Phase I and Phase II work. Construction of the Phase I surface water controls was implemented by IDEQ in the spring of 2006. The purpose of this work was to drain areas of the site to enhance drying in order to facilitate the Phase II work later in the summer. The Phase II design included the following activities: Grading and capping of the tailings pond; armoring the base of the waste rock pile; excavation of the tailings in the mill area and re-location to upland capped disposal area; installation of erosion protection on the stream bank; and revegetation of the site. Construction of the Phase II work began in September 2006 with COE oversight. The majority of the remedial action work was completed prior to the onset of winter weather in December 2006. In 2007, the final grading and capping of the consolidated waste area was completed along with site-wide hydro seeding.

Golconda before Remediation

Golconda after Remediation

Rex Mine – The Rex mine site is located near the East Fork of Nine Mile Creek and has historically been used for recreational purposes and ATV use.  During 2006, EPA completed the design for the tailings dam toe buttress. The purpose of the buttress is to provide additional stability to the steep face of the tailings impoundment. Construction of the buttress was completed by the BLM in October 2006. The design for the remainder of the site included the following elements: installation of a surface/groundwater collection pond; consolidation of all tailings on site; diversion of adit and surface water flow (Rex Creek) away from the tailings impoundment; removal of debris and burial of mine concentrates at the site; overall grading of the site; capping of tailings; and revegetation. Construction for this work began during the summer of 2007 with COE oversight.

Rex before Remediation

Rex after Remediation

USBM - This site is located along the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River near Osburn and was a demonstration site developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines for disposal of tailings. It is currently an area actively used for ATV use. During 2006, EPA completed field work to characterize the site and fill data gaps for development of a remedial action design. Design completion and construction of the remedy is anticipated in 2007.

USBM before Remediation