is a 648-acre, cyanide-heap leach gold mine built in 1995 in the Salmon
River Mountains west of the town of Salmon.
The project is next to Napias
Creek, a tributary to Panther Creek, and the Salmon River. The mine cut
short its expected operation and is now in reclamation.
Beartrack violated water quality standards many times for pollution by lead, iron, arsenic,
cadmium, mercury and manganese. Increasing sulfate concentrations and
decreasing pH levels in groundwater raise concerns that acid mine drainage
will occur in the future. The mines South Pit will fill with water
of uncertain quality a pit water study is underway by the Forest
1999, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) ruled that Beartrack was
likely to jeopardize endangered salmon and steelhead, and outlined specific
measures needed to continue mining. The mine closed in 2000. NMFS’
decision reinforced a 1995 federal court ruling in which BWCC and other
groups, represented by Earthjustice.
Update March 2003: Beartrack Mine's former manager opposes new mine in Patagonia, Argentina proposed by his former employer, Meridian Gold. Click
to read the
story on Mineweb: "Meridian Gold insider crosses to Greens", by Tim Wood, March 17,