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Dillon Field Office
Release Date: 02/22/12
Contacts: Contact David Abrams 406-533-7617    

BLM Seeks Public Comments on Mine Waste Rock Removal Proposal

The Bureau of Land Management’s Dillon Field Office is evaluating an unpatented claim holder’s proposal to remove waste dump material from the old Bartlett Mine site for processing at the Golden Sunlight Mill east of Whitehall.  The BLM will take public comment on the proposal until March 23.

The site is located just above Alder Gulch about five miles south of Virginia City.  The proposal includes removing 2,500 tons of unprocessed rock material—approximately 85 truckloads—and hauling the material down the Alder Gulch road to a location just outside of Virginia City.  From there it will travel on state highways to Whitehall.  No road improvement is anticipated.

Although levels of potentially hazardous substances in the waste rock may be somewhat elevated, the concentrations would not pose a public health issue.  The material will eventually end up in a lined permitted tailings pond.  

This project will be completed under the Small Miner Exclusion Statement and an affidavit has been submitted to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.  An SMES excludes those operating a mine of less than five acres of disturbance from the formal permitting process.  It is the operator’s responsibility to comply with all county, state and federal laws and to obtain pertinent permits.

If the operation is approved as submitted, removal would begin this spring or summer and take about 30 days to complete.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For more information or to submit comments, please contact Robert Gunderson at the Dillon Field Office at (406) 683-8000, or by email to with “Bartlett Waste Removal” in the subject line.

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Dillon Field Office   1005 Selway Drive      Dillon, MT 59725  

Last updated: 06-28-2012