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Hardrock Mining


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Beartrack Gold Mine       This Mine is Closed and in Reclamation
There are 3 photos in the slideshow at right. Download times vary from 2-3 seconds for high-speed connections, and 2-3 minutes for dial-up. Enjoy the whole show (which will load and play automatically) OR use the quick links at right to view and print individual slides (just use the BACK button on your web browser to return to this page when you are done with each slide).

*Slide 1: Aerial View of Beartrack
*Slide 2
: South Pit at Beartrack
*Slide 3
: Trucks at work at Beartrack

Beartrack 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 mine’s South Pit will fill with water of uncertain quality – a pit water study is underway by the Forest Service.

In 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 here to read the story on Mineweb: "Meridian Gold insider crosses to Greens", by Tim Wood, March 17, 2003.


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