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Golden Butte Abandoned Mine Lands
Project Adds New Cover to Mine Waste Rock Dump

Project: Covered and revegetated the waste-rock dump cover at the Golden Butte Mine, which is located in Nevada’s White Pine County, about 45 miles northwest of Ely.

ARRA Funding Level: $205,000


February 2, 2011: $204,661 obligated, $204,661 spent. Contract workers with Eastern Nevada’s High Mark Construction operated the machinery, moving soil from a nearby source onto the waste rock, and then broadcast seeding the soil and dragging the seed into the soil with a harrow.

Contracts: The project is funded through a $204,000 interagency agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which awarded the contract to MaxFour LLC of Englewood, Colorado.

Completion date: June 2010

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

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

Benefits and Needs: The project restored a diverse natural plant community that will reestablish wildlife and grazing habitat. The project also prevents the introduction of acidic and toxic metal run-off into the surrounding drainage area and environment, and limits the exposure of wildlife and cattle to these toxins. Thousands of historic abandoned mines are scattered throughout Nevada. These abandoned mines can be hard to see for off-highway vehicle recreations and can be an attractive, dangerous nuisance for hikers and other outdoor recreationists.

Background: Abandoned mines are among the most recognizable and attractive national icons of the western landscape and many of them are also habitat for bats and other valued wildlife. Nevada contains thousands of abandoned mines from the 1800s and early 1900s when miners simply walked away. The BLM is working with the state of Nevada to locate these sites, and to prioritize the remediation and securing of these sites. Mining companies today are required to reclaim mine sites when activities are completed. Location and remediation of abandoned mines on public lands is a national priority for both the Department of the Interior and the BLM.

Heavy equipment loads growth media for spreading.     Dozer spreads the growth media on the waste rock.
Heavy equipment loads growth media                    Dozer spreads the growth media on the
for spreading.                                                     waste rock.