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Gilt Edge Mine added to EPA's Superfund list

Release Date: 12/1/2000
Contact Information:
David Williams (303) 312-6757,

Release Date: 12/1/2000
Contact Information:
Ken Wangerud (303) 312-6703

      Denver -- Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will add the former Gilt Edge Mine located near Deadwood, South Dakota to EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites.
The National Priorities List is a published list of U.S. hazardous waste sites eligible for extensive, long-term cleanup under the Superfund program. Listing on the NPL makes the site eligible to receive federal funds for cleanup while EPA seeks to recover costs from the responsible parties that can be identified.. Placing the site on the NPL also allows EPA to use Superfund money for cleanup when there are no responsible parties who can pay for the work.

The Gilt Edge Mine is a 270-acre open-pit cyanide heap-leach gold mine, developed in highly sulfidic ore bodies. The operator, Brohm Mining Company, became insolvent, leaving 150 million gallons of acidic, heavy-metal-laden water in three open pits. Among the wastes are millions of cubic yards of acid-generating waste rock that need remediation and possible long-term water treatment.

Mining operations for gold, copper and tungsten began in 1876 and continued until the 1930's. The Gilt Edge Mine reopened in mid 1930 and operated until 1941. During this period of time tailings were discharged into Bear Butte Creek and Strawberry Creek. Over time, acid mine drainage damaged the aquatic habitat of Bear Butte Creek and Strawberry Creek.

Under a State mining permit, in 1987 the Brohm Mining Company developed mining operations on the site including a large cyanide heap-leach pad, and a 12 million cubic yard valley-fill waste-rock dump, process plants and ponds and large open pits. As a condition of the permit issued to Brohm in 1986, some of the tailings were removed from Strawberry Creek and used as a bed liner for the leach pad.

In February 2000, Governor Janklow requested that EPA propose the site for the NPL and provide immediate emergency response and long term cleanup. South Dakota’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources maintained a water-treatment plant to remove metals from the water at the mine after it closed. In August this work was turned over to EPA’s emergency response branch.
Listing of a site on the NPL guarantees the public an opportunity to participate in cleanup decisions. Information that EPA used to document the listing of the site is available at either of the following locations:

U. S. EPA Records Center Phoebe Hearst Library
999 18th Street, Ste.303 315 W. Main Street
Denver, Co 80202 Lead, South Dakota 57754