Phillips County, Montana
The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has granted the DEQ stimulus funding for the Zortman – Landusky reclamation site in Phillips County, Montana. These funds have been transferred to the DEQ via an Assistance Agreement for project implementation.
The Zortman and Landusky mines were open pit gold mines that utilized cyanide heap leaching for gold recovery. They were operated between 1979 and 1998 by Pegasus Gold, Inc., and are located on a combination of private patented lands and federal lands managed by the BLM. Following the bankruptcy of Pegasus, the State of Montana and the BLM began a co-operative effort to reclaim the mines using the reclamation and water treatment bonds posted by the mining company and held by the DEQ.
The $30 million reclamation bond and approximately $10 million in water treatment bonds posted by Pegasus Gold have been spent at the site in the past 10 years. The BLM and the State of Montana have spent an additional $12 million at the site for reclamation and water treatment projects that exceeded the available bond. Annual site operating costs are approximately $1.5 million dollars, about double the amount of the water treatment bond that is available annually. To date, the remainder has been made up primarily by the BLM.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) jointly oversees reclamation of the Zortman and Landusky mines in co-operation with the USDI Bureau of Land Management (BLM) via a Memorandum of Understanding dated August 2nd, 2004. The BLM has secured funding for the Zortman/Landusky site through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The economic stimulus money is being managed by the DEQ through their contract with Spectrum Engineering, Inc. in Billings, Montana.
The economic stimulus is being applied to the four distinct project tasks listed below.
Swift Gulch Water Treatment Plant: The work includes securing equipment and erecting a building to house the water treatment equipment, including the necessary electrical infrastructure to operate the plant. The work has been completed as of May 2011.
Landusky Biological Treatment Plant: The work includes the securing all plumping, electrical, and mechanical, vehicles and other infrastructure for the plant. It also includes the construction and lining of three holding ponds for water treatment. This project is complete.
Wind Turbine and Power Generation: The wind turbine manufacturer has been selected from the two vendors supplying quotes. The Wind Turbine is estimated to be completed in 2012.
Zortman Water Treatment Plant: The work includes upgrading electrical controls within the plant. This plant’s electrical system has been upgraded with professional computer programming of the PLC currently on-going. This project is complete.
Through November of 2011, a total of $2,229,498.97 has been spent. This leaves $758,501.03 remaining in the budget.
Requests for Proposals:
There are no current requests for proposals