Blackbird Mine Site

Blackbird Mine Site

Lemhi County, Idaho

Blackbird Mine is an inactive copper and cobalt mine in the Salmon National Forest approximately 25 miles west of Salmon, Idaho, in steep, isolated, mountainous terrain. Metal deposits in the form of copper and cobalt sulfides were mined and milled at the site from 1917 to 1967. Oxidation of sulfides has produced acid mine drainage, high in hazardous substances, mainly copper, cobalt, nickel, and zinc.

Feasibility level design of physical restoration alternatives were conducted to restore
the natural resources of the Blackbird Mine site to baseline conditions.

The major sources of acid mine drainage are waste rock, tailings, and mine portal discharges. Bucktail Creek and Blackbird Creek drain the mine site and are tributaries of Panther Creek, which in turn flows to the Salmon River. Historical records indicate that prior to the 1950’s; Panther Creek was a trout and salmon fishery. Current fishery assessments revealed that the number of trout has declined and no salmon are present.

Deere & Ault Consultants, Inc. (D&A) personnel participated in a physical restoration analysis under Section 107 of CERCLA, providing expert witness testimony in Federal Court. Work included interpretation of historical data, negotiations with potentially responsible parties, preparation of site restoration analysis reports, surface water and groundwater sampling, and sediment sampling.

The case was settled out of Court. The Defendants are currently implementing clean-up of the site.

Clients:  U.S. Forest Service
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
State of Idaho
U.S. Department of Justice
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