March 3, 2024

The Pizen Switch Times

Established 2021

Anaconda Copper Mine Site ~ Annual Reclamation Report from Nevada Department of Environmental Protection

Yerington, Nevada ~ 40 people attended a public meeting on 12/4/2023 at the James Sanford Community Center in Yerington’s City Hall for updates on current activities at the Anaconda Copper Mine Site. The presentation included the “upcoming feasibility study for the northern areas of the Site, including site-wide groundwater.”

Paul Eckert, the Supervisor of Abandoned Mine Lands with the Bureau of Corrective Actions (BCA) in Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) presented information through a power-point presentation (attached).

A supplemental 5-page FACT SHEET was also distributed at the meeting (attached).

After the presentation, audience members were able to ask questions and make comments.

The current plan for the Anaconda Copper Mine Site (ACMS) is to conclude reclamation in 2029 followed by ongoing maintenance  and security of area.

“The ACMS encompasses about 3,000 acres. 50% private land, 50% public lands managed by BLM.  Anaconda Mining Company conducted open pit mining and processing of copper ores, 1952-1978. Atlantic Richfield Co. purchased site and shut down mining and processing, 1977-1978. Arimetco heap leached copper ore, 1989-1999…NDEP began to manage draindown fluids, 2000.”

The utilization of sulfuric acid to access the copper from the ore is the major reason for draindown fluid management. NDEP continues to cap the ore piles to prevent continued leaching of sulfuric acid into the plume. A plume is the movement of water and sediment in an area near an aquifer.

Mr. Eckert emphasized that original and ongoing studies of the plume show that it runs from the ACMS to the north. “The plume is stable based on 2022 data; 2023 data is currently in process. Groundwater monitoring under the Optimized Groundwater Monitoring Program began in June 2020. The network includes 192 monitoring wells for measuring water levels and 63 for water quality analysis.”

Click on a photo to enlarge and begin powerpoint at your own pace: