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View Full Version : Environmentally Responsible Ideas For Removal of Ore Dumps? NOI - Forest Service

03-02-2013, 11:30 AM
Hi All,

I am interested in recycling a couple of old mine dumps near my house up in the high country of Colorado. The dumps contain free values. However, I need to come up with a Notice of Intent with the Forest Service (the land was formally Patented and then re-aquired by the FS).

I believe that removing the piles will be good thing for the environment and profitable. However, what do I do with the tailings? I don;t want to make a big mess of the beautiful mountains. Can I take the tailings to the highway department? Local land fill, aggregate for construction?

Would love to hear some responsible ideas.

03-02-2013, 01:51 PM

Your interest in cleaning up the Rocky mountains while potentially generating a profit has all of the qualities of wanting to do the right thing and while adding quality to the environment also making a buck or two.

Colorado like Alaska and other western states already have an abandoned mine lands (AML) program. Here's Colorado:


Colorado has over 18,000 abandoned mines on their inventory.

If you approach the USFS cold, with a NOI, they have the power and regulatory "obligation" to request a Plan of Operation (POO). When that happens, they also know they have six years in which to "study" your POO. A well composed POO will include the work of numerous environmental engineering consultants. Each of those depending on the extent of your POO will cost upwards of $50,000 for their work and professional write-up.

Go to any of the USFS websites and search for "SOPA" each district has a sopa page that lists the status of plan applications. You may also find links to the present environmental impact statements and the consultants that did the work for the various pending plan approvals. That's the way the business is handled.

This week is different than last week because of the sequester. Last week federal funding was available to mitigate the abandoned mile lands. You could consider becoming a certified, registered, bonded and insured abandoned mine reclamation specialist. That would be a costly venture in my opinion.

- Geowizard

03-02-2013, 03:09 PM

There must be a way to do this without investing so much money and getting EPA police involved?

I am just an individual that is trying to do this - not a large corp. This not a superfund site. Just an old mine up in the hills.

However, I do appreciate your insight.

03-02-2013, 04:19 PM
Check and see if there is a repository for contaminated soils in your area. High-grade the waste dump by hand in small quantities and process in garage, haul small amounts of waste rock to repository is my way of thinking, super small scale and easy on the back. My country is steep so I think I will set up a series of Zip lines and maybe do a yard a week of good hand picked high-grade, going to use load straps to go around any trees I use, so's not to girdle them and guy back to others with a crows-foot. I'm after the waste dump of a Gold/copper a old Lense/Pod deposit. If it generates enough capital to think larger then I may jump through hoops and chase after the masters treats, If I can see some real return on all investments, till then its all black OPs. "V"ertical

P.S. There may be a mine in your area that would work a deal with you on adding your small scale leftovers to their Larger waste impoundment area.

03-02-2013, 06:30 PM

I applied to have a gold mine returned to the public domain in 1982. Now 30 years later, it's been disapproved. I actually watched two generations of BLM employees retire during my wait. I was told I would be held in "trespass" if I enter the mine.

In 2010, I was operating "responsibly" under a NOI. The USFS district ranger, Douglas Arizona fired off a certified letter to me "commanding" me to vacate the National Forest. The next year, June, 2011, the Chiricahua National Forest burned to the ground. Over 222,000 acres 348 square miles of forest burned because the USFS could not or would not fight the fire. Note: the cactus nursery that I made at the Hilltop mine to save Agave cactus survived the fire. The cactus nursery was made out of my personal stewardship to save cacti that provide food for endangered lesser long nosed bats that come up from Mexico. I also bought bat condo's at a cost of a couple hundred dollars a piece and spent my week-ends with my wife installing them all over the county to provide roosting habitat for the bats that might be displaced by the mining. All prior to the fire.

Photo of one of the bat condo's: http://www.stampede-gold.com/bat_condo.jpg

There's more but you get the idea.

- Geowizard