Mine cleanup under way in Gila National Forest

New Mexico

Officials with the Gila National Forest say the first phase of a cleanup project at the Royal John Mine and Mill is nearly complete.

Officials with the Gila National Forest say the first phase of a cleanup project at the Royal John Mine and Mill is nearly complete.

Past lead and zinc mining activities left an estimated 90,000 cubic yards (68,810 cubic meters) of tailings and waste rock material along the upper reaches of Cold Springs Creek. The contaminated material is being consolidated into one spot where it will be permanently capped.

Officials say this will limit the potential for the contaminants to reach the surrounding environment.

The area will be cordoned off with a steel rail fence and seeded with native grasses.

The work is expected to be finished in late July.

The second phase will involve closing the mine’s adits and shafts. The contract for that work is scheduled to be awarded later this summer.

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