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Abandoned Mines Program

Royal Gorge Abandoned Mines Program

The RGFO has had an active Abandoned Mined Land Program ongoing since 1993.  The program began as an inventory program. 

The BLM has developed a mechanism for mapping abandoned mines that is based on sites and features.  Basically a site is a geographic location that may include a number of features such as roads, buildings, shafts, adits, etc.   When work is contemplated, one or more sites or features may be combined into a project.  Starting in 1998 a number of projects were implemented focusing on both environmental and safety issues.  These projects are discussed in those two sections.

The RGFO has developed a close working relationship with the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (CDRMS) regarding abandoned mines work.  The CDRMS has had an ongoing program for about 25 years and have the expertise on hand to develop abandoned mine projects.  Additionally the BLM and the CDRMS have developed cost sharing approaches to completing projects.

Environmental Restoration Projects

  • Dinero Tunnel Dumps (complete 2002)
  • Dinero Tunnel (complete in 2009)
  • Milsap Project (complete in 2009)
  • Dutch Flats and Powhatten Projects (complete in 2000)
  • Tiger Tunnel (in progress)
  • Querida mill (in progress)
  • Venture Mine (in progress)

Safety Closure Projects

Safety closure projects are done throughout Colorado through our partnership with the Colorado Divsion of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety.  

The CDRMS  has a very proactive Stay Out, Stay Alive program centered on abandoned mine openings, remnants of Colorado's rich mining history.