Sulfide Mining in Other States!OpenDocument

What a great site I have found.

I reached the site this way: first the UMD library directory-then thought census/statistics concentrated search engine- then through Google Government.

It is the United States Environmental Protection Agency : Superfund 9

This mining site overview is basically a historical encyclopedia for the Anaconda Copper Sulfide mine in Nevada.  The mine site is a “Superfund” site because it is a step below NPL- National Priority List. So in addition, I am reviewing a middle case scenario- when I begin writing my paper I will consider this situation and how MN could end up on the NPL list and what kind of devastation could occur that would cause us to be on that list.

Mason Valley Wildlife management Area: the mine is ___ mins from this area and 25 mins from the first major city

High way 80 and high way 15 only ones running through state

My sense after reading half the article is this: When the EPA came in to clean up and hault the ground water contamination  from spreading into communal water tables they instaled reverse flush ducts that pushed water back into the mine site property.

Questions to Find out:

The flush system worked but how much did it cost

How large was this mine site: could I “place it over the MN Polymet  proposal” to see how it over laps into surrounding communities? – Nevada is rather desolate.  I feel as of now- this Anaconda site possessed more property and “buffer space” than Polymet.


The Anaconda Copper Mine site covers more than 3,400 acres in the Mason Valley, near the city of Yerington, in Lyon County, central Nevada, approximately 65 miles southeast of Reno

Lyon County LibraryAddress:Station is accessible

Write a review –  – more info »

Placement on map is approximate
20 Nevin Way
Yerington, NV 89447-2399
(775) 463-6645
Area served:  –
Unverified listing

Some facts about the PolyMet project:

  • The proposed mine site is on public land in the Superior National Forest
  • The project would excavate 91,200 tons per day of rock, generating approximately 394 million tons of waste rock over the life of the mine
  • The project would create three open pits ranging in size from 54 to 278 acres in size, and up to 840 feet deep.
  • At least 1,500 acres of wetlands would be impacted by the project.
  • Reactive waste rock piles would be permanently left on the land – ranging in size from 70 to 560 acres in size, and from 13 to 20 stories high.
  • The project proposes to store mine tailings and toxic waste materials in an existing mine tailings basin that has current basin stability problems.
Nevada”s mine:

In 1977, Atlantic Richfield Company (ARC) bought Anaconda. all activities were shut down in 1982. When Anaconda operations ceased, groundwater pumping stopped:

-resulting in the 180 acre Pit Lake. It is now about one mile long, 800 feet deep with 500 feet of water, and contains around 40,000 acre-feet of water which increases at the rate of 10 feet/year.

-Anaconda mining operations generated approximately 360 million tons of ore and debris from the open pit and 15 million tons of overburden resulting in 400 acres of waste rock placed south of the Pit, 900 acres of contaminated tailings, and 300 acres of disposal ponds

Paint the Picture of Clean up:

EPA has established eight Operable Units (OUs) to address the investigation and cleanup of the various components of the site: Site-wide Groundwater (OU1), Pit Lake (OU2), Process Areas (OU3), Evaporation Ponds/Sulfide Tailings (OU4), Waste Rock Areas (OU5), Oxide Tailings (OU6), Wabuska Drain (OU7), and Arimetco (OU8).
Each of these OUs will have their own investigation and cleanup plans. The cleanup approaches for the various hazards at the site will be determined after these investigations

have been completed and potential risks have been evaluated. In the interim, EPA will determine whether emergency removals or other interim actions are warranted to mitigate immediate hazards.

New Idea: So it seems to me that the technology which was installed three years after the first ground water/chemical violation- 5 pump back wells – took 1 yr.

and another 6 pump back wells 13 yrs after the 2nd violation have kept the pollution “in-bounds.”

The in-bounds pollution is also due to 3 emergency clean ups by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection and the American Environmental Protection Agency.

The reality of the Anaconda mine is not what i expected: it is an eye sore, not an environmental calamity-not to be down played-this chilled reality is due to honest working departments and follow-up after Follow-up over 32 years.

It is clear in this review that the NDEP and EPA were not in partnership with Anaconda-

Arimetco bought the property from Tibbals in 1988-Don Tibbals, who refurbished Weed Heights-Atlantic Richfield Company (ARC)-

DNR stats on MN waters- I am using this source to compare the amount of water in MN to the amount of water in Nevada.

By the numbers

Counties with no natural lakes:
Mower, Olmsted, Pipestone, Rock

Number of lakes:
11,842 (10+ acres)

Number of natural rivers and streams:
6,564 (69,200 miles)

Wetlands acreage present in 1850:
18.6 million acres

Wetlands acreage present in 2003:
9.3 million acres

This is from “wetland wiki” i need to find a better source but is starts it up-

What I need to find is a site equally as informative as the MN water census- The point I am trying to make is MN is going to need a lot more than 11 “pumps” to keep the mine pollution in bounds.

Google maps- source- to look at the geography surrounding the mining site in Nevada.

During the 1780’s it is estimated that Nevada had approximately 487,350 acres of wetlands, which declined to 236,350 acres in the 1980’s, a loss of 52% statewide. Much of the losses during the past two centuries was due to the diversion of water for drinking water and agricultural purposes, more recent losses are development related.[3] Nevada has not cataloged all of its wetlands in the state, so losses are believed to be higher than the estimated 52%

here we go:

The maps on this page were composed by Brad Cole of

Brad is a graduate of the Mapping Technology Program at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and was President of the MU Geography Club. Brad is a cartographer and has composed many of the maps that you will see on One of his best projects is the United States Map Collection. He also maintains the website and is responsible for monitoring our web development projects. Prior to college, Brad was a firefighter in the Navy for four years, stationed onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier. He enjoys hiking, ATV riding, and as you can tell from the photo he also enjoys hunting.

This map shows the bodies of water in the state of Nevada: 25 bodies – Lakes- Rivers- in the whole state!

I want my research paper to consider these things:

Intro: The Nevada Anaconda Copper sulfide mine is in a dormant state as of July 2010. The mine began in 1800— and is presently keeping dangerous pollution in-bounds of the mining property. The reasons Nevada is not plunged in Mercury and Arsenic today is because the past thirty two years have included three emergency clean up procedures and eleven back-pump installments. The success of the state is not due the area’s natural environmental cycle. The Nevada Department of Environmental Protection and the national Environmental Protection Agency has saved the state by maintaining a non-partisan relationships with the mining companies.  As an environmentalist and amorous Minnesotan I see problems with our state implementing plans to conduct Sulfide mining because the only environmental steward over looking the Minnesotan Polymet sulfide mining proposal, the Department of Natural Resources, has become monetarily involved with the Polymet mining company. In addition to the political partnership Minnesota and Nevada are completely separate environmental entities.  Minnesota’s wet lands amounts to Minnesota back-pumps. I would like to propose three things- Minnesota’s environment, tourist economy and environmental steward organizations. The balancing act: can Minnesota prosper and mine copper at the same time?

the research Question:

If the only environmental steward of the MN-Polymet mining proposal is in a monetary
partnership with the mining company itself, should Minnesota support and allow the twenty
year long procedure?

first paragraph:

A back round that states MN’s current Polymet proposal- how big the mine operation is, where it is, brief economic pro, brief environmental con

4 sources in this Blog- this means I need two more to get some credit.

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My Questions I will Send to J. O’leary

Julie O’Leary
NE Minnesota Programs Coordinator
MEP Duluth

Julie O’Leary has worked in the environmental field since 1978.  Her background includes six years as a seasonal park ranger and interpreter with the National Park Service, and 11 years at the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) in Duluth.  While working with WLSSD her responsibilities included all public outreach for the agency, writing grants to fund the pollution prevention program, establishing partnerships in the community, developing education programs and materials, overseeing staff, managing budgets and writing final reports.  During her tenure, WLSSD was recognized nationally for its innovative programs and the partnerships created to accomplish those environmental efforts.

Julie O’Leary(218) 724-68065128 Arnold Rd,  Duluth, MN 55803-9301

Minnesota Environmental Partnership

546 Rice Street
Suite 100
Saint Paul, MN 55103
Phone: 651-290-0154
Fax: 651-290-0167


I have met and discussed Minnesota’s Polyment Sulfide mining proposal with Julie this past year. She is clearly a creditable resource as discussed above; this blog is going to put together some very specific questions that I know the answer to but need a voice of prestige to vouch for.

1.)    How is the DNR becoming a business partner with Polymet rather than remaining an environmental regulation organization.

-what I know-

The DNR and Polymet have exchanged high ranking members; regulatory officers from the DNR have been offered a higher salary within Polymet and members of Polymet have been appointed positions within the DNR.

I am going to ask her if I have that right.

2.)    What is the most current progression in the Sulfide mining proposal?

3.)    How does MEP Duluth feel about the proposal?

-I am under the impression that the goal is not to shut out the possibility of the mine, but realize we need a third party over-looking the project. The new technology needs to be presented in a more honest manner. It is merely tarps that do not take into account the waste rock being exposed for 20 yrs while the pit is functioning.

4.)    If the mine began functioning with the current technology and management what are some of the repercussions our water table and environment will face?

5.)    Will the economic prosperities brought about by the mine out weighted the environmental devastations, contamination of the tourist areas and state economy as a whole?

6.)    How is Polymet proposing to assist the state with clean up?

7.)    What are some of the assumed dangers of having the DNR and Polymet working so closely together.

I will be emailing Julie with a short ; would you mind answering some questions about….kind of an email.

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