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Mine Waste Technology

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Mining activities in the United States (not counting coal) produce between 1 and 2 billion tons of mine waste annually. These activities include extraction and beneficiation of metallic ores, phosphate, uranium, and oil shale. Over 130,000 of these noncoal mines, concentrated largely in nine western states, are responsible for polluting over 3,400 miles of streams and over 440,000 acres of land. About seventy of these sites are on the National Priority List for Superfund remediation. In the 1985 Report to Congress on the subject, the total noncoal mine waste volume was estimated at 50 billion tons, with 33% being tailings, 17% dump/heap leach wastes and mine water, and 50% surface and underground wastes. Since many of the mines involve sulfide minerals, the production of acid mine drainage (AMD) is a common problem from these abandoned mine sites. The cold temperatures in the higher elevations and heavy snows frequently prevent winter site access. The combinations of acidity, heavy metals, and sediment have severe detrimental environmental impacts on the delicate ecosystems in the West.

Research Project Descriptions
Includes Project Overviews, Technology Descriptions, and Results. All figures and tables can be found in the Mine Waste Technology Annual Report.
Annual Report
Information about Mine Waste Technology annual reports. Includes Fiscal Year 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, and 1996.
Quality Management Plan
(PDF, 632 Kb, pp)
Scientist to Scientist Meeting
Disclaimer: The positions noted in any of the papers, overheads, papers, handouts,materials, etc. from this meeting are the views of the individual presenters only and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Agency or organization of the presenter.
Research Projects & Contacts
A chart which includes project title, link to project description and final report (if applicable), MSE Contact and EPA Contact.
Information about current and past year call for proposals and proposals accepted.
Success Stories (PDF, 276 Kb, 5 pp)
Information about past successes in the Mine Waste Technology arena.
Panorama & Video Files
Includes Berkeley Pit, Calliope Mine, Lilly Orphan Boy Mine, Mammouth Tailing, Miller Mine, and Peerless Mine.


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