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1872 Mining Law Fact #24

Despite the fairy tales told about reclaiming hardrock mine sites, the truth is that it's no Cinderella story.

Multinational companies want us to believe they restore mine sites to pristine condition. In reality, dangerous pollution persists even when “reclamation” efforts conclude.

Colorado's Cripple Creek mine has exceeded pollution limits 22 times since its “reclamation,” continuing to release quantities of cyanide, zinc and copper into streams feeding the Arkansas River. The company's “clean-up” plan doesn't include addressing this water pollution or the enormous open pits.

Yet no reclamation requirements or guidelines exist under the 1872 Mining Law. There's nothing Happily-Ever-After about that.