Mining Companies Pledge Cleanup For Idaho Basin

Dec. 28, 2000

Three mining companies, and possibly a fourth, are committing $250 million toward an effort to clean up mining wastes in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin in Idaho within 30 years.

Asarco, Hecla Mining Company and Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. agreed to clean up more than 1,500 square miles in the basin and Silver Valley, which would protect the mining companies from future litigation. The area has accumulated cadmium, lead and other wastes after more than 100 years of mining activity.

Executives said they would spend $154 million up front, and the rest would come from future precious metals royalties. A fourth mining company may still join the agreement, but the pact must first be approved by federal officials and the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe.

(Source: Environment News Service)