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Old 08-05-2013, 05:01 PM
 
507 posts, read 328,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beezle1 View Post
Uranium mining may be starting up in the near future in Fremont County:

Hansen/Taylor Ranch Uranium Project |
No it won't. That's a dog project that is years, if not decades, from ever getting going. Whoever is billing ore with a .12% grade as "high-grade" needs to be flogged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by proveick View Post
There's a bit of an ongoing dealio going on in Canon City.
Issues at Cañon City uranium mill (Colorado)
Cotter Corp needs to be flogged for their underhanded tactics and delaying actions regarding their clean-up operations. They are the virulent outcasts of the mining community and deserve nothing but contempt. Though that tailings pond of theirs does contain probably $100 million of recoverable uranium.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:36 AM
 
2,209 posts, read 3,592,674 times
Reputation: 2418
Wink Mining legacy in real time

Quote:
Originally Posted by DurangoJoe View Post
Front page of today's Durango Herald regarding the mess that mining has made of the Animas River. Toxic metal pollution, a real mess.

The Durango Herald 08/03/2013 | A legacy that won't die


Definitely recommended reading for anyone concerned or interested in the legacy of Colorado hard rock mining.

There is currently a vast amount of water laden with toxic metals draining into Cement Creek. Then that into the Animas River (through Durango), thence San Juan River, and then Colorado River. At last into the sea in the Gulf of Mexico (although this great river is entirely used and depleted before ever reaching as far now). But just possibly into your produce via the many farms using this water on the lower Colorado.

A very serious problem, and Superfund site—save politics.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Durango, CO
940 posts, read 810,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
Definitely recommended reading for anyone concerned or interested in the legacy of Colorado hard rock mining.

There is currently a vast amount of water laden with toxic metals draining into Cement Creek. Then that into the Animas River (through Durango), thence San Juan River, and then Colorado River. At last into the sea in the Gulf of Mexico (although this great river is entirely used and depleted before ever reaching as far now). But just possibly into your produce via the many farms using this water on the lower Colorado.

A very serious problem, and Superfund site—save politics.
A very serious problem indeed. It hits home for us since we're on Durango City water, from the Animas River. The thought of drinking, cooking, & bathing with this water is somewhat frightening after reading the article.

The river is also one of the huge sources of tourism dollars here, representing a significant portion of the local economy. Rafting, tubing, kayaking, etc. Not a day goes by that the river is not full of tourists spending dollars in town.

Our only saving grace at this point is the 50 miles from here to Silverton...... for whatever that's worth.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
2,289 posts, read 2,176,103 times
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Default Slight Geography Correction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
Definitely recommended reading for anyone concerned or interested in the legacy of Colorado hard rock mining.

There is currently a vast amount of water laden with toxic metals draining into Cement Creek. Then that into the Animas River (through Durango), thence San Juan River, and then Colorado River. At last into the sea in the Gulf of Mexico (although this great river is entirely used and depleted before ever reaching as far now). But just possibly into your produce via the many farms using this water on the lower Colorado.

A very serious problem, and Superfund site—save politics.
Not trying to be nitpicky but it flows to the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez if you are Mexican).

I kept envisioning farms in the Midwest above the Gulf of Mexico and I knew that was wrong.

Every now and then the geography teacher in me has to clear things up.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:40 AM
 
507 posts, read 328,606 times
Reputation: 577
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
Definitely recommended reading for anyone concerned or interested in the legacy of Colorado hard rock mining.

There is currently a vast amount of water laden with toxic metals draining into Cement Creek. Then that into the Animas River (through Durango), thence San Juan River, and then Colorado River. At last into the sea in the Gulf of Mexico (although this great river is entirely used and depleted before ever reaching as far now). But just possibly into your produce via the many farms using this water on the lower Colorado.

A very serious problem, and Superfund site—save politics.
It's the question of who pays for the cleanup. These aren't active mines and the corporate entities that own them are pretty much skeleton companies that have zero ability to pay for cleanup. All of these mines are also from an era where remediation and reclamation weren't even part of the lexicon and there are no surety bonds that have been posted. Perhaps mineral and oil royalties should be diverted into a cleanup fund to correct the mistakes of the past?

Politics indeed.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:02 PM
 
2,209 posts, read 3,592,674 times
Reputation: 2418
Wink Corrected

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
Not trying to be nitpicky but it flows to the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez if you are Mexican).

I kept envisioning farms in the Midwest above the Gulf of Mexico and I knew that was wrong.

Every now and then the geography teacher in me has to clear things up.

Entirely right, and my gross oversight.

I did mean Sea of Cortez, and the difference between the two only as minor as either flowing into the Pacific (Sea of Cortez) or Atlantic (Gulf of Mexico). My apologies to any not immediately seeing my vast geographic error.


***

Per resolving the ongoing pollution of Cement Creek and finding the necessary money, it seems no less than in dealing with bureaucracy where every department points a finger elsewhere. Or ultimately no one to blame, or in any event make legally responsible. As this article noted:

“Getting anyone to pay is notoriously difficult,” he said. He noted that without robust regulation, it was common practice from the 1870s on for mining companies to take what they could and then go broke, abscond or incestuously merge with other mining entities, leaving the future to foot the bill.' [1]

Something like common practice today with oil companies and others, if somewhat more difficult and expensive to extricate the corporation from that done in the 21st century—and requiring a team of lawyers.

As this article also noted, there are more than 23,000 mines in Colorado. Not all posing as serious a problem as this to be sure, if some idea of the magnitude of this legacy. Perhaps as the last operating Silverton mine until 1991, Sunnyside Gold Corp. ends up as odd man out when these musical chairs stopped. The unfortunate point guy, even if still rightly bearing responsibility in measure.

However, as noted, between 1871 and 1991, $530 million (unadjusted for inflation) was extracted from Silverton's many mines. A good chunk of money dispersed into individual hands, with environmental consequences now left societies problem.

Silverton is a quaint town in a lovely setting. Although I've always wondered about the water there. All the more so now. Or what it may take to rectify past profits taken.


1) 'A legacy that won't die,' The Durango Herald
http://www.durangoherald.com/article...hat-won-t-die-

Last edited by Idunn; 08-06-2013 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:19 PM
 
2,209 posts, read 3,592,674 times
Reputation: 2418
Wink At a price

"Simon and Butler said Mineral Creek only ever accounted for about 25 percent of the pollution flowing into the Animas River, versus the 75 percent (and growing) they attribute to Cement Creek." [1]


The remediation on Mineral Creek is pointed to as what is possible in cleaning up a river. There has been a 50 percent reduction in zinc and 70 percent of copper during low flow. If pointed out,

“It’s not exactly precise to say we’ve ‘cleaned up’ Mineral Creek,” said Peter Butler, co-coordinator of the stakeholders group. “The water is by no means drinkable right now. But, scientifically, we have met our goals there.” [1]

Insofar as potable water, perhaps never a perfect source, as both Mineral Creek and Cement Creek are naturally mineralized.

Yet mentioned here that of the two Mineral Creek presented the far simpler challenge, in cleaning its riverbed, versus finding some solution for that issuing from within abandoned mines.

The second of this series of three articles provides some hope that—at a price—a comparatively simple solution can be had to the ongoing pollution of Cement Creek: a limestone water-treatment plant. At issue would be the cost, between $12 to $17 million dollars, AND $1,000,000 in yearly operating cost into perpetuity.[2]

Yet while limestone treatment will surely adjust the pH of the water so less acidic, with what effect in removing the many minerals? A slurried lime will precipitate heavy metals out of solution, to then be removed via filtration and/or settling. To what degree or how absolute, myself no idea at this juncture.

Kinross Gold Corp., the international mining conglomerate that purchased Sunnyside Gold Corp. in 2003, is offering the EPA $6.5 million to absolve it of all further liability in this matter. Should limestone filtering prove viable, and IF they accepted full responsibility, their cost to just 2113 would be about $112,000,000 (unadjusted for inflation).

Meanwhile, the minerals released from below Hanson Peak continue to leach out. A non-issue until the Sunnyside Mine was discovered in the Lake Emma basin in 1873 by George Howard and R.J. McNutt [3] (with said lake having been inadvertently undermined and drained into this mine at 6:50pm on Sunday, June 4, 1978).[4] With some periods of quiescence, it has witnessed intense interest and development since discovery until 1991.

With it and other mines in the Silverton region perhaps yet open again—if the price is right.



1) 'Success seen in Mineral Creek cleanup,' The Durango Herald
The Durango Herald 08/04/2013 | Success seen in Mineral Creek cleanup

2) 'A pollution solution – if the money turns up,' The Durango Herald
The Durango Herald 08/04/2013 | A pollution solution – if the money turns up

3) 'Hardrock History, New Boom on the Horizon?' Silverton Magazine
Hardrock History - new boom?

4) 'Gladstone, Colorado,' Narrow Guage
Gladstone, Colorado
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