Red Devil Mine Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study

In 2009 BLM initiated an environmental investigation of the Red Devil Mine site under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, known as CERCLA. The investigation, called a Remedial Investigation, includes a Feasibility Study of possible remediation methods.

River sediment sampling in Kuskokwim River near Red Devil Mine, Sept 2011The Remedial Investigation improved our understanding of the physical setting and potential impacts of mine tailings (the leftover material after mercury was extracted) on human health and the environment.

Samples collected from the soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater were analyzed for metals such as mercury, arsenic and antimony. This information was used to identify whether metals from the tailings are migrating into the groundwater and surface water, and ultimately into the fish and animals that inhabit the area around the mine site.

Early Action

Installation of groundwater monitoring well at Red Devil Mine site, Sept 2011The results of the Remedial Investigation show that large piles of tailings near Red Devil Creek contain high concentrations of mercury, arsenic and antimony. The results also show that the tailings eroding into Red Devil Creek and moving into the Kuskokwim River. BLM will conduct an early action in 2014 to prevent further migration of this contamination.

BLM developed an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) for an early action that outlines three alternatives for preventing the tailings from further migrating, including a preferred alternative.

BLM posted the EE/CA for a 30-day public review from Feb. 19 through March 21, 2014. BLM conducted a series of community meetings during this time to consult with interested tribes and communities, and hear comments, issues and concerns.

In June 2014, BLM issued a Non-Time Critical Removal Action Memorandum and awarded a contract to Marsh Creek LLC to construct the project. Construction will continue through early August.

Click on the titles above to view the documents, or use the Administrative Record #2 RI/FS link at right to view these and other documents related to the CERCLA investigation at Red Devil Mine.

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  Ore Specimen from RDM:  Cinnabar (Mercury), Stibnite (Antimony), and Realgar (Arsenic).  Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the image in a new screen.

Ore sample from the Red Devil Mine containing metals in native form. Red mineral is cinnabar (mercury), orange mineral is realgar (arsenic), and silver mineral is stibnite (antimony).