US Geological Survey

US Geological Survey

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Evaluation of Hazards and Risk Assessment of Fugitive Dust from Metals Extraction Operations at the Red Dog Mine, Alaska

The Red Dog Mine has produced lead and zinc concentrates year-round since its start up in 1989. After milling and refining at the mine, the powder-consistency concentrates are trucked 45 miles (75 km) via a haul road to storage facilities on the Chukchi Sea, where they await ocean transport during the short ice-free shipping season. The haul road traverses 19 miles (32 km) of the Cape Krusenstern National Monument. Patterns of airborne heavy metal deposition on NPS lands from mining operations at Red Dog Mine were determined by the National Park Service through evaluation of mosses and lichens. Based on the NPS moss studies, metal bioaccumulation in the CAKR ecosystem resulting from mining transport activities appears to be a significant potential long term threat to the viability of natural habitats and subsistence resources and is a top priority RMP issue for the National Park Service. This research is intended to provide the NPS with detailed information on the ecological effects of the mining transport activities on biota of the Cape Krusenstern National Monument. The results are intended to provide the resource managers of the area with baseline data, monitoring tools, and an assessment of sub-lethal effects to terrestrial biota in the area.

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Status: Complete
Start Date: 2005/10/01
Type: Project
End Date: 2009/09/30
Primary Contact
Brumbaugh, William
Work: (573) 876-1857
Other Contacts
Neitlich, Peter
Work: 509 996 3917
Primary Agency
US Geological Survey

Other Agencies
National Park Service

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