Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
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January 9, 2020
Abandoned mines near Gold Hill scheduled for closure this year

The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining Abandoned Mine Reclamation program is closing approximately 113 mine openings on public land near Gold Hill in western Tooele County.

OGM staff is coordinating with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to select acceptable closure methods. Those methods may include backfilling, masonry walls, and rebar grates. Construction of closure methods is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020, according to OGM staff.

Abandoned Mine Reclamation program staff are seeking public input to identify areas of concern or issues to consider during the planning phase of the closure project. 

The public may submit comments to chrisrohrer@utah.gov or request a public meeting until Feb 14.

“Abandoned mine openings can be intriguing to people,” said project manager Chris Rohrer. “However, they can be very dangerous due to unstable materials, hazardous gases and explosives. The Abandoned Mine Reclamation program works to protect the public from dangers of old mine openings by sealing off access.”

The project is the fourth mine closure project in the area and should complete the mine safeguarding work there, according to Rohrer.

The first reclamation project was the Gold Hill Project in 2007. It closed 158 mine openings, followed by the Overland Project in 2017 with 50 closures on private land, and the Dutch Mountain Project with 118 closures in 2018-19.

The Gold Hill area was a center of gold and silver mining dating back to the 1860s. Mining in the area peaked around the turn of the 20th century. There were small booms of arsenic production during both World Wars, along with lead, copper and tungsten production.

For more information on the reclamation program, visit ogm.utah.gov.

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