Mine Closure & Abandoned Mine Land Services
Abandoned mine lands (AMLs) are those lands, waters and watersheds contaminated or scarred by mining activities that have ceased.
AMLs exist across private, mixed and federal lands adding complexity to the handling and management of such legacies. A number of federal laws address environmental contamination issues associated with AMLs. Federal statutory authority is spread among several agencies with no one agency having overall statutory responsibility. Ensuring that appropriate authorities are used at AML sites will work to facilitate cleanup.
There are many types of mines, each with their own unique characteristics, making cleanup efforts varied, both in terms of cost and approach. The three main types are coal, hardrock, and uranium.
In California, the majority of AMLs are hardrock. Hardrock mines are primarily ores and metals (gold, silver, copper, etc). Most are small to medium in size, with a few large sites. The majority sits on or adjacent to Federal lands and often involve mixed-ownership. Data from the former U.S. Bureau of Mines and the U.S. Geological Survey provide the foundation of most hardrock mine inventories.
Cleanup priorities focus on water quality and sites involving release or potential release of hazardous substances.
At MEC, it is our goal to help enhance public safety and improve water quality by providing sustainable solutions to reducing or eliminating the effects of past hardrock mining. We have successfully accomplished our goal at several sites by providing state-of-the-art technology, adaptability and local expertise.
Our engineers have led the design of a wide variety of Abandoned Mine Land and Mine Closure projects. A partial list of projects is included in the workshop presentation “Design-Build Strategies to Optimize Cost Effectiveness in Abandoned Mine Remediation Projects” presented at the 2011 National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs by Dr. Franz Campero, Managing Principal at MEC International.
Paper and workshop presented at the 2011 National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs by Dr. Franz Campero, Managing Principal at MEC International, in association with URS Corporation (Contract Manager) and ERRG (Construction).