U.S. Department of the Interior


Date of this Version



Technical Note 410. BLM/ST/ST-02/002+3596. Bureau of Land Management.


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is conducting priority cleanups of abandoned mine sites on public lands. Typically, these sites contain tailings piles, cyanide heaps, and rock dumps that historically were constructed in or near drainages and now are releasing pollutants into watersheds. In compliance with regulations, BLM selects the most environmentally suitable site for removing mining waste and placing it into repositories. Repositories have different design features, and the design selected should be based on site-specific conditions and the results of water balance models. A Geographic Information System (GIS) can be a useful tool for screening and selecting a repository site. Industry sources and construction data from existing repositories can be used to predict construction costs. BLM found that the key factor in predicting cost is the volume of wastes to be placed.