The BLM Ely District is in partnership with the Reclamation of Abandoned Mine Sites, or RAMS, program that utilizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers environmental authorities to provide technical, planning, and design assistance to federal and non-federal interests in carrying out projects to address water quality problems caused by drainage and related activities from abandoned mines. In addition, research is included as a component of the program and is designed to provide applied engineering and scientific support to allow the efficient and cost-effective performance of projects intended to manage drainage from abandoned and inactive non-coal mines; restore and protect streams, rivers, wetlands, other water bodies, and riparian areas degraded by drainage from abandoned and inactive non-coal mines; and demonstrate management practices and innovative and alternative treatment technologies to minimize or eliminate adverse environmental effects associated with drainage from abandoned and inactive non-coal mines. The program also includes the development and population of a database of remediation technologies as specified.
The BLM Ely District has cleaned up seven abandoned mine sites, using existing bonds and appropriated funds. Three additional sites are scheduled for completion in 2009. They are the Golden Butte, Golden Eagle and Ward Mountain sites. The Golden Butte site is a demonstration project with two closure designs for control and evaporation of effluent water off the heap leach pads. The Golden Eagle and Ward reclamation was completed in May of 2009. Golden Butte and seeding of Ward Mine is expected to be completed in November of 2009. A short contract to repair technical components of the demonstration project at Golden Butte was completed in October of 2009.
The BLM Ely District has applied for Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, or SNPLMA, funding to secure abandoned mine shafts in Lincoln County. Project implementation is anticipated in 2009 and 2010.