SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining's Abandoned Mine Reclamation program plans to close more than 90 mine openings on public land on Dutch Mountain near Gold Hill in southwestern Tooele County.
Staff members are seeking public input to identify areas of concern or issues to consider during the planning phase of the project. The public may submit comments until Feb. 16 to [email protected] or request a public meeting.
The division is coordinating with the Bureau of Land Management to select acceptable closure methods that could backfilling, masonry walls and rebar grates. Construction will begin this spring.
“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.”6 comments on this story
This effort is the third mine closure project in the area. In 2007, the Gold Hill Project closed 158 mine openings and the Overland Project in 2017 closed 49.
The Gold Hill area was a center of gold and silver mining dating back to the 1860s and peaking around the turn of the 20th century. There were small booms of arsenic production during both World War I and II, as well as lead, copper and tungsten mining.
In 2016, the division used helicopters and pack horses to navigate the steep cliff faces of the San Rafael Swell as part of an effort to close more than 170 Cold War-era uranium mines.
For more information on program, visit ogm.utah.gov.