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Veris Gold Jerritt Canyon

Award: 2016 Nevada Mining Association’s Innovative Reclamation and closure in an Alpine Environment award

Gold was discovered at the Jerritt Canyon District in 1972 and the first of it was poured in 1981. There has been a combination of open pit and underground mining since operations commenced. A result of the open pit mining are rock dump areas (RDAs). In recent years, water seeping from several of the RDAs shows high sulfate levels. The seep water is pH neutral and heavy metals are not present.

This project designed passive water treatment trenches to treat the seep water. The trenches were filled with manure, sawdust, wood chips, straw, and limestone to bind the sulfate. The design of this project allows the treated water to flow through the adjacent soil where it is treated again by attenuation. The project also included the construction of interceptor trenches at the toe of the RDA, and collection sumps outfitted with flow meters to gather data to better understand the extent of the flow and sulfate loading. The designs for the project were approved through the Engineering Design Change process at the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.