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Carson City District
Release Date: 04/03/13
Contacts: Lisa Ross , 775-885-6107 ,
News Release No. CCDO 2013-032

Mill at American Flat to be Demolished for Public Safety

Carson City, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Sierra Front Field Office, has issued the Decision to demolish the United Comstock Merger Mill at American Flat in Storey County, Nev., to address the physical safety hazards present at the mill. A 2008 audit of the site by the Department of Interior, Office of the Inspector General (OIG), found the mill site to be a high risk-liability to the U.S. Government.

Under the selected alternative, all eight mill buildings will be demolished, voids and tunnels filled, and building footprints and other disturbed areas covered with native borrow material/soil and revegetated. Project funding and a schedule for demolition and reclamation of the mill site have not yet been identified, although this is likely to take two years to implement.

In March 2012, the BLM executed a Programmatic Agreement with the State Historic Preservation Officer and other consulting parties to mitigate adverse effects to the historic property from its demolition. Measures that the BLM will implement include off-site exhibits, brochures and other media. This Agreement concluded the compliance required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

The United Comstock Merger Mill site is located on public lands near Gold Hill, Nevada. The mill was built in 1922 to process local gold and silver ore utilizing cyanide vat leaching in what was then described as the largest concrete mill in the United States. Since abandonment in 1926, this seven-acre mill site has been used as a place to hold parties, post graffiti, and conduct paintball wars despite physical safety hazards from falling concrete, underground mill sumps filled with water, and holes in the concrete flooring.

The BLM has prepared the Final Environmental Assessment – United Comstock Merger Mill at American Flat (DOI-BLM-NV-C020-2012-0040-EA), to analyze the direct, indirect and cumulative effects of the selected alternative. The Decision Record, Final EA and related documents are on the web at under Lands/Realty/Safety Projects.

For more information, please contact Brian Buttazoni, 775-885-6004, or by email at:

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

Carson City District   5665 Morgan Mill Road      Carson City, NV 89701  

Last updated: 04-03-2013