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. 

 Venture Mine Administrative Record

The BLM is conducting a Time-Critical Removal Action at the Venture Mine Site near Leadville, CO.  The administrative record for this action is available on this website, as well as at the Lake County Public Library located at 1115 Harrison Ave, Leadville, CO 80461.  The Administrative Record contains information that explains why the BLM is conducing this removal action at the Venture Mine Site.  For additional information, please contact Melissa Smeins the BLM at 719.269.8523.  

This removal action will mitigate threats posed by acid mine drainage (AMD) generated by surface water traveling over mine waste and tailings located on public land that is under the jurisdiction, custody and control of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and a small portion of private property located five miles west of Leadville, Colorado. The  Site encompasses approximately 7 acres of uplands and stream shorelines. The majority of the  Site is on public land; however, approximately one acre or 14% of the Venture Mine shaft and waste rock piles are on private lands. 

This removal action will be conducted by the BLM pursuant to its lead agency authority for work on Federal land, which includes the Site and the consolidation repository.  CDRMS will be conducting the contractor bidding process for the work and will implement the cleanup activities with the selected contractor, with respective oversight from the BLM. CMC NRM will be helping with the work by utilizing its heavy equipment program to install run-on/runoff diversion ditches and stream restoration work after waste pile removal has occurred.

 The following documents are included as the Administrative Record for the Venture Time-Critical Removal Action as documents that were considered or relied upon in selecting the action. 

Peer reviewed scientific literature: