Lots of irony

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 12:05:18 12/29/16

In Reply to: Worked next to the Mammoth-Gardiner sewerage line one summer posted by Beej


I'm not familiar with all the mines up Jardine way, but the most recent one (big hummer), which I think was part of Mineral Hill, was probably new enough to have been a cyanide operation. Some of the earlier mines up there were definitely employing arsenic leaching.

In doing some quick web research, I found the linked document, which has some interesting information. Scroll down most of the way, and you will find a small section on Jardine. Right below it is a much longer piece on the Cooke City area. That is full of fascinating info. Having wandered around up there, both in summer and winter, due to my work with Park County and the NPS on improving public safety radio communications, I was once immersed in studying the placement of a bunch of mining claims that were part of the Margaret Reeb estate. (I will do a second post, so I can provide a second link, this one to an article that speaks of Margaret Reeb, her mining claims, her nephews, and the ultimate destiny of those claims.) We eventually placed a radio repeater on one of the claims up high on Henderson Mtn.

I find it ironic that after the lengthy battle over the proposed New World Mine proposed by Crown Butte Mines and Noranda back in the 1990s, and the deal that resolved the issue, the shoe is now on the other foot. One of the central issues in the battle over the New World Mine had to do with fear of cyanide and other dangerous chemicals flowing into Yellowstone. We know that Soda Butte Creek received a fair amount of dangerous mining residue influx in the early days of the park. As far as I know, some monitoring has been done, which shows the further upstream you go on the creek, the greater the concentration of the nasty deposits, but the dilemma is what to do about it. One of the central fears is that any activity that disturbs the creek bottom might dredge up those chemical agents and poison fish and other wildlife downstream, including the Lamar and Yellowstone Rivers. I'm not sure what the status of any mitigation plans are at this point. I suspect that the government is hoping that the passage of time and further deposition of innocuous material will shield the watercourse from serious damage.


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