Major construction at Anaconda mine site to begin in August

Major construction at Anaconda mine site to begin in August
The Anaconda Mine year Yerington, Nevada. Image: Bob Conrad, 2018.

LYON COUNTY – The major construction phase of the Anaconda Mine Site clean-up project is slated to break ground in August 2021, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) announced Wednesday. The project spans across more than 260 acres of land in the Mason Valley, the site of the former Anaconda Copper Mine.

Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), which owns Anaconda Copper and is a subsidiary of British Petroleum, has an agreement with NDEP to fund clean-up of the site. It’ll provide more than $32 million for the major construction phase, which combines with approximately $2.7 million from hazardous waste disposal fees.  

Over the past three years—since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency turned oversight of the revitalization project over to NDEP—significant and sustained progress has been made to move the project forward, NDEP said.

“Breaking ground on this major construction phase marks a significant and highly-anticipated milestone in our plan to successfully expedite protective cleanup of the historic Anaconda Mine Site,” said Greg Lovato, NDEP Administrator. “We will continue applying the best available science to ensure that current and future activities are protective of public health and the natural environment, and I thank our State, Federal, Tribal, and Community partners for their ongoing collaboration and support. We look forward to continuing a phased cleanup approach to ensure a healthy, vibrant, sustainable future for Mason Valley residents.”

Previous work at the site has included a groundwater study capturing 15 years of scientific data and data evaluation, geotechnical investigations in support of mine reclamation, cultural investigations, and construction of five new fluid management system ponds completed in 2020. NDEP said the improvements will protect groundwater quality and minimize the amount of acidic drain-down fluid resulting from precipitation so that it can be more effectively controlled in the newly constructed lined evaporation ponds.

NDEP said it will provide regular updates and a timeline ahead of the major construction groundbreaking in August. The full clean-up for the entire site, which consists of three phases, is on track for completion by 2029.

Source: NDEP