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Almeda Mine Oregon/Washington BLM



Almeda Mine

BLM District Medford (Oregon) BLM Field Office Grants Pass
Congressional District Oregon 4th AMLIS #  
State Office Contact John Barber HUC # /Subbasin 17100310
Field Office Contact Susan Lee Specific Watershed Lower Rogue River
Location BLM Land in Josephine County 30 miles west of Grants Pass, in a steep canyon reach of the Rogue River (T34S, R8W, SENE, Willamette Meridian, Lat. 42.60966, Long. -123.584665)
Land Ownership BLM-administered land
Estimated Cost $2,370,000
Other Agency Links Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality
Google Earth Click here for map

The Almeda Mine is located on BLM administered land with the Medford District in Josephine County, Oregon, approximately 30 miles west of Grants Pass, in a steep canyon reach of the recreation section of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River. Recreationists including sightseers, rafters, and fishermen frequently pass and/or visit the site drawn by the colorful mineralization. The 100-year-old abandoned gold and copper mine is actively discharging acid mine drainage (AMD) that flows directly into the Rogue River downstream from Galice, Oregon from the 520 Adit at the base of the mine dump which is situated within the river floodplain. This AMD exhibits low pH, and contains heavy metal and sulfides.

Several studies are currently underway to evaluate the treatability of the mine drainage as well as the potential for bulk heading the lower adit to control outflow. Previous efforts to control AMD included the unsuccessful trial installation of water driven lime dispenser (©Aqua-Fix Systems Inc.) to adjust the pH and remove metals from the discharge in a temporary sledge settling pond. An initial underground mine reconnaissance was conducted in summer of 2002. In 2003, a channel was constructed from the 520 adit to the Rogue River and filled with limestone and lime to neutralize the acidity and precipitate metals. Further investigation completed in 2007 indicated five options for treating and neutralizing the AMD together with installation of a bulkhead in the 520 adit. Work completed in FY 2011 and largely financed by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) included an adit opening and subsequent closure studies as well as development of an Engineer Estimate/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) to determine options for remediating the site.

There is high public concern over this site, and several environmental groups are closely monitoring BLM's progress. A previously completed Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) search, conducted by Dynamac Corp., uncovered no viable parties. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been informed consistent with the CERCLA process. And BLM is cooperating not only with ODEQ but also with local environmental interests in providing Freedom of Information Act data. There are no foreseeable barriers to continued implementation of this project other than resolution of difficulties arising from poor site accessibility and lack of nearby electrical power.

Mine photo
520 Adit Before Reopening
Mine photo
520 Adit After Partial Reopening
Mine photo
520 Adit Fully Reopened to Enable Inspection of Workings and Remediation
Mine photo
520 Adit with Installed Access Control/Safety Gate
Mine photo
520 Main Adit Inbound from Portal Approx. 100 feet
Mine photo
520 Adit Side Stope Inbound Approx. 100 feet