Zortman and Landusky Mines, Phillips County, Montana

Overview

Since 1999, Spectrum has supported the Montana Department of Environmental Quality in the high-profile CERCLA reclamation of the Zortman and Landusky Mines. The 1,200-acre complex encompasses two open pit gold mines near the crest of the Little Rocky Mountains. The site received national attention in 1999 when the site operator declared bankruptcy and abandoned ongoing cleanup operations, leaving mining waste, cyanide leach pads, and mill sites to contaminate the only drinking water source for the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. Spectrum’s work has included remedial actions, including sediment dredging; excavation/waste consolidation; reclamation actions; and long-term remedial action/operation and maintenance of four acid rock drainage water treatment plants and associated capture systems.

Project Highlights
Implemented remedy of mine waste consolidation and stabilizations and source control, reducing acid rock drainage, preventing releases, and bringing selenium and nitrate discharges into compliance.
Operated in rugged terrain with challenging geology, including multiple shear zones and surface water drainage features.
Successfully executed a reclamation project at the remote, complex hard rock mine sites under the close scrutiny of multiple stakeholders.
Optimized treatment system to reduce labor costs, and designed and implemented phased change-outs to variable frequency drive pumps, rewired systems, and dropped transformers, thereby cutting energy costs.
Treated 1.4 billion gallons of acid rock drainage.