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GMEG - Mineral and Environmental Resources

Coeur d'Alene Life-Cycle Models

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Project summary:

The Coeur d'Alene mining district ranks as one of the world's largest producers of silver and one of our Nation's major producers of lead and zinc. Although environmentally sound mining activities occur within the district today, historic ore processing methods and periodic flooding of rivers have resulted in the dispersion of metal enriched sediment at least 150 miles downstream of the mining district. Residents of this area and local, state, and federal agencies are acutely aware of the need to mitigate human and wildlife health effects and additional environmental impacts from these contaminated sediments. Our studies are designed to develop new understanding of the occurrence, quantity, and environmental characteristics of ore deposits and mining wastes in the Coeur d'Alene basin and of the fundamental processes that create, modify, and redistribute them. The results of our work directly address public concerns about the distribution, fate, transport, and availability of metals associated with mineral deposits and mining wastes in the basin.

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