Jack Waite Mine Remediation

Coeur d'Alene, ID

Conti remediated mine tailings in a remote location and in harsh winter weather conditions.

In the remote wilderness of Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene National Forest, sits an abandoned historic mine formerly used to extract minerals such as quartz, pyrite, sphalerite and cerussite. Recent studies by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) found significant levels of soil contamination from past mining operations, requiring remediation due to its location in the Tributary Creek drainage basin.

Conti safely completed the environmental remediation of the 20-acre Jack Waite Mine site in full compliance with Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 regulatory requirements, procuring required permits and facility certifications prior to groundbreaking. The site consisted of several abandoned mine adits, a shaft, four tailings impoundments and scattered areas of discarded material and debris. The team excavated, tested and removed hazardous waste including arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and zinc.

Because of the remote location, efficient logistics were deployed, such as naming conventions and traffic protocols for construction roads and two-way radio communication for employees. Work was performed in challenging site conditions, on mountainsides with limited large truck access and working from camps on site, to meet an aggressive schedule and avoid snow seasons.

Conti was recognized for its outstanding performance by the Coeur d’Alene Trust, which manages parallel and similar work, USACE Seattle, with the Commander's Coin for Excellence, and Engineering News-Record’s Best Project, Award of Merit.

Project details

Client USACE Kansas City & Seattle
Value $12M
Status Completed
Key features
  • Remediated a remote mine tailing site
  • Excavated 239,000 cubic yards of lead and zinc contaminated tailings
  • Placed 656,000 square feet of HDPE liner and geo-composite
  • Placed 750 logs, distributed 20 acres of wood vegetation and planted 20 acres of hydro seeding
  • Reconstructed 3,000 linear feet of stream
  • Performed chemical analysis and sampling
  • Developed and implemented strict site safety and health plans

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