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Hardrock Mining


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Grouse Creek Gold Mine     This Mine is Closed and in Reclamation
There are 2 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).

Grouse Creek Gold Mine

*Slide 1: Aerial View of Grouse Creek Mine
*Slide 2
: Grouse Creek Mine in May 2002

The 515-acre Grouse Creek Mine was touted to be a modern, "state of the art" mine when constructed in the Salmon River Mountains, 14 miles from Stanley in 1993. Instead, it’s become an environmental nightmare.

Cyanide has leaked from the mine’s tailings facility into nearby Jordan Creek at toxicity levels lethal to fish. Jordan Creek is just seven miles from Idaho’s famous Salmon River. The mine is now closed and is haggling with government agencies over how to drain 500-million gallons of tainted water from the tailings dam. The probable solution: dump it into the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River.

Grouse Creek was a financial "black hole" as Hecla Mining Company grossly overestimated the project’s gold reserves. The mine closed in 1997, far short of its expected 8 to10 years of operation. Now the company is seeking patents (ownership) of its claims at the Grouse Creek site, despite not making a profit – a requirement for patenting.

Update Late 2002: Draining Grouse Creek’s Tailings Lake = "The solution to pollution is dilution". Hecla Mining Company insists on mixing tainted tailings water with the Yankee Fork Salmon River. Although cyanide levels are no longer toxic to fish or humans, ammonia and selenium are still present in the tailings impoundment.


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