Eagle Mine CERCLA Site

Eagle Mine CERCLA Site

Minturn, Colorado

Located south of Vail, Colorado, the site is adjacent to the Eagle River and includes extensive underground mine workings, an underground mill, as well as extensive surface facilities. The site is located in difficult, mountainous topography with complex subsurface geology. Heavy metals contamination from mining and milling wastes has resulted in elevated concentrations of these hazardous substances in the Eagle River.

Remedial actions at the Eagle Mine site have included plugging of adits to reduce acid mine drainage.
D&A personnel provided technical oversight of the adit plugging program and recommended
measures to further reduce acid mine drainage from underground workings.

Deere & Ault Consultants, Inc. (D&A) personnel provided technical oversight for the remediation of the Eagle Mine CERCLA site. The oversight role included providing recommendations for consolidation and closure of a solid waste tailings repository, mine plugging, and subsurface grouting to reduce seepage to the Eagle River, and treatment of mine seepage water. The results of surface water monitoring and groundwater monitoring was reviewed as the remediation phases were implemented. Technical oversight for the mine plugging included review of the adit plug design, and oversight of the construction of the Ben Butler and Tip Top Portal plugs; oversight of the capping of the tailings pond including the slimes section that was capped with a geosynthetic clay liner (GCL).

Although the structure design of the plugs was found to be satisfactory, interconnections with older mine workings resulted in seepage to Rock Creek. Analysis indicated that more strategic plug locations and/or an effective grout curtain installation could improve the effectiveness of the remediation and reduce seepage to Rock Creek. As a result, adit plugs were strategically located to reduce seepage and improve remediation effectiveness.

Clients:  Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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