Snowshoe Mine Reclamation

The Snowshoe Mine Site was an abandoned hardrock mine site listed on the Montana Department of Environmental Quality/Mine Waste Cleanup Bureau (DEQ/MWCB) Priority Sites List, based on site assessment work conducted by Pioneer in 1993. Wastes sources included mill tailings and waste rock located within the floodplain of Snowshoe Creek. The uncontained waste materials were impacting water quality and sediment quality in Snowshoe Creek.

DEQ retained Pioneer to perform site investigations, conduct a risk assessment, determine the preferred remedial alternative, develop the project design and construction bid package and provide construction oversight. The project consisted of removing approximately 80,000 cubic yards of mine wastes from the flood plains of Snowshoe Creek and placing them in a repository located 6 miles from the site on the U.S. Forest Service property.

The project required construction dewatering and the diversion of Snowshoe Creek to excavate the mine waste materials and resulted in the reclamation of a 12 acre foot print, improvement of 4 miles of roads, re-construction of 1,990 linear feet of Snowshoe Creek which incorporated a 0.5 acre pond, closure of two adits, the construction of a 9 acre repository capped with geosynthetic materials including a PVC geomembrane liner and 36 inches of cover soil, and the construction of a small trailhead parking area. Reclamation was completed between 2007 and 2010 construction seasons by North Wind, Inc. DEQ conducted the project in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service Kootenai National Forest.