Originally U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 95-26. Prepared by the USGS and CGS in cooperation with the US Bureau of Land Management. Map shows potential metal-mine drainage hazards in Colorado, based on mineral-deposit geology. Map includes discussion on uses of the map, map preparation, mining districts, mineral deposit types, unmined mineralized areas, mean annual precipitation, river and streams affected by metals, and mine-drainage models of mineral deposits and likely mine drainage signatures of mining districts; references. 1 color plate (1:750,000). Digital PDF download. MS-29D
From the Introduction
Land management agencies are currently faced with the daunting task of identifying, assessing, and prioritizing abandoned mine sites on public lands for remediation. In Colorado, the number of abandoned mine sites on public and private lands is in excess of 20,000. Nationwide, the total number of abandoned mine sites is in excess of 500,000. Because of the large number of sites to be evaluated, procedures must be developed that can streamline and facilitate the site assessment process.
Geologic characteristics of mineral deposits are a fundamental and predictable control on the environmental effects of mining and mineral processing, and on the natural environmental conditions that exist in mineralized areas prior to mining (Plumlee and others, 1994; Smith and others, 1994; Plumlee and others, 1993; Plumlee and others, 1992; Ficklin and others, 1992; Kwong, 1993). Other important controls, such as geochemical and biogeochemical processes, climate, and mining and mineral processing methods, generally serve to modify the environmental effects dictated by geologic characteristics.