Friday, June 4, 2010

Another Kind Of Gold Recycling

A report from Mineweb discusses another kind of gold recycling: using recovery from old tailings to partially fund a cleanup of Yellowstone Park.

The State of Montana, the U.S. government and Barrick's Golden Sunlight mine are all working together to bring to a close one of the most controversial chapters in U.S. mining history involving gold mining near Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Ironically, today's high gold price may provide the funding to finally end the historic mine pollution considered a significant source of heavy metals contamination flowing into the park.

The same environmental groups-who, with the personal intervention of then-President Bill Clinton, successfully won a war in the 1980s to ban gold mining in and around Yellowstone-now support a proposal to use the gold from old mine tailings to fund the reclamation of a major mill site near the park.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality announced Wednesday that it is starting cleanup of the 80-year old, 30-acre McLaren Tailings Site located at the former McLaren Mine mill near Cooke City in Park County....

The tailings are leaching acid into Yellowstone headwaters, so getting rid of them will improve water quality. So will a treatment plant being added on the original mill site. The tailings are going to be moved to a repository near the original site, and some of them will be reclaimed to provide funding. Seed money has been provided by the U.S. government.

Who woulda thunk that a rise in gold prices would facilitate today's mining cleaning up yesterday's...


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