Nevada ARRA Projects

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Rip Van Winkle Nevada Abandoned Mine Lands
Mine Remediation Improves Habitat for Fish, Wildlife

Project: Removed lead and zinc mill concentrates from the Rip Van Winkle mill site on Coon Creek, which is a tributary of Maggie Creek and the Humboldt River in northeastern Nevada.

ARRA Funding Level: $326,000

Progress:

February 2, 2011: $323,712 obligated, $309,118 spent. The mill concentrates were removed from the mill site, and added to the pond 4 tailing repository, which was completed last year using Central Hazmat Fund money. In addition to the mill site cleanup and archaeological work, the final step was expanded to pull potentially acidic rock away from the creek and replace it with native soil, as desired by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.

Contracts: The project was funded through a $322,000 inter-agency agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which awarded the contract to MaxFour LLC of Englewood, Colorado.

Jobs: Earthwork was subcontracted to High Mark Construction of Elko.

Local purchases: All construction funding was funneled into the local economy.

Completed: September 14, 2010

Benefits and Needs: Remediation work at the site will prevent metal and acid contamination produced by the tailings from flowing into Maggie Creek, which is habitat for the federally-listed threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Background: Remnants of the Rip Van Winkle Mine are located northwest of Elko, Nevada, on Lone Mountain. The lead and zinc operation was active from the late nineteenth century until 1944.

Lower mill buildings at Rip Van Winkle               Rip Creek diversion and reclaimed ponds
Lower mill buildings at Rip Van Winkle.                                   Rip Creek diversion and reclaimed ponds: In the
                                                                                         middle foreground the extensive armored creek
                                                                                         channel diversion is visible, moving flowing water
                                                                                         around the tailings to avoid contact with them.