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Mining Engineering Seminar: “Inactive and Abandoned Mines: The Gold King Mines Spill. Not an Epic Disaster”

February 7, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Ronald R. H. Cohen “Inactive and Abandoned Mines: The Gold King Mines Spill. Not an Epic Disaster”


You are gazing over the clear stream, thinking of fishing the crystal waters in the Rockies. The next morning, you are stunned to see an orange-yellow plume moving with the stream. Is this the Colorado Gold King Mine spill into Cement Creek of August 5, 2015?No, this describes the Clear Creek, CO spill of April, 2009 from a private mine or it could be the 1975 or 1978 Cement Creek spills from abandoned mines. Spills of acid mine drainage (AMD) from abandoned mines have been a common problem in the US for over 100 years.The Gold King Mine is one of many abandoned mines on the Colorado landscape. The BLM in Colorado reported 2,751 known abandoned hard rock mines on public lands, and mentioned 4,670 features of mines, such as draining openings and shafts, and mine waste, that may impact water resources.The Gold King spill was one of many into Cement Creek during its 100 years of exposure to mine drainage. Cement Creek feeds into the Animas River which then flows to Durango, CO and down the San Juan River to New Mexico and Utah, and ultimately into Lake Powell.


Ronald R. H. Cohen, PhD is Emeritus Assoc. Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and also has held an appointment as Professor Extraordinaire for Environmental Science and Management, Northwest University, Potchefstroom, South Africa. His expertise includes treatment and remediation of mine wastes; environmental site characterization for the resource industries; hydrology and water resources engineering; and remediation of America’s nuclear weapons sites. Dr. Cohen has worked on uranium remediation in a South African watershed for over 10 years. He has consulted, served as an expert witness and lectured on mining and the environment in South Africa, India, Brazil, Mali, Ghana, Chile, Venezuela, Canada, China, Russia, England and in the USA. His advice was sought on mining and environment issues by the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Dr. Cohen has received many awards including a Certificate of Special Recognition from the US Congress for remediation and restoration of the nuclear weapons plants in the USA.


Wednesday, February 7th

4-5 PM

Brown 125


February 7, 2018
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Room Number
Brown 125


Brown Hall
1610 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401 United States
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