Abandoned Mine Lands Assessment of the North Yuba Watershed
Abandoned Mine Lands Assessment of the North Yuba Watershed Purpose and Scope California Bay-Delta Authority contracted with the Department of Conservation to select a high priority watershed and perform an assessment of the abandoned mine issues. Collected data during field work and combined with historical data to form the North Yuba Watershed database. Watershed Selection Watershed based on water flowing in to the bay-delta area. Selection criteria for priority watersheds were created by analyzing many geospatial datasets. Watershed was partitioned into 2 regions: Coast Range and the Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada Province: anthropogenic mercury and arsenic Coast Range Province: natural mercury and geothermal activity. Geospatial datasets Seven datasets used in watershed selection: Principle Areas of Mine Pollution (PAMP), mines with
production over $100,000 that could impact WQ arsenic occurrences, derived from USGSs Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS). public ownership, public vs. private. acid rock drainage, sites with acid generating ore minerals and bodies from MRDS. historic hard rock mining, from USGS 1:24,000 topo maps historic hydraulic mining, from USGS 1:24,000 topo maps watershed boundaries Matrix for Scoring Watershed Categories Spatial Data Set Description Very Low Number of Principal Areas of Mine 0 Pollution (PAMP) Sites Public Ownership in Acres by 0 Watershed Number of Abandoned Mines that may have Acid Rock Drainage by 0 Watershed Number of Hard Rock Mines by 0 Watershed Number of Abandoned Mines that may have Arsenic by Watershed Area in Acres of Hydraulic Mines Sites by Watersheds Category Score Low
0 1 2 3 4 5 Very Low 0 Low 1-4 Moderate 5-9 High 10-14 0 1 2 3 Matrix for Ranking Watersheds Range of Summed Scores Overall Watershed Ranking Value
Very High Extreme 15 - 20 > 20 4 5 Watershed Name North Yuba Copperopolis Middle Yuba South Yuba Middle Fork American North Fork American Upper Bear Cosumnes South Fork American North Fork Merced Big Oak Flat Mariposa Buckhorn Peak Foothill Drain Middle Fork Feather Upper Mokelumne Bloomer Hill South Fork Calaveras Sutter Creek Ure Mountain Clavey River Mammoth Pool Nevada City North Fork Feather South Fork Merced Yosemite East Branch North Fork
Overall Sum of Watershe Category d Ranking Scores Value 27 5 22 5 21 5 21 5 20 4 20 4 20 4 19 4 19 4 18 4 17 4 17 4 16 4 15 4 15 4
14 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 11 3 11 3 11 3 11 3 10 3 10 3 10 3 Mining History First gold discovery party was lead by Major William Downie. Claims were set based on 30 feet per man Population over 5,000 in 1851 Mining History, cont.
Surface placers worked intensively Extensive hydraulic mining took place between the 1850s and 1884, with some operations worked into WWII. Drift placer mining developed around the same time as hydraulic mining. Lode gold production began in 1853 and lasted until the 1960s Sample Design Contracted to visit at least 100 sites. 128 mine sites actually visited. Sample Design,cont. Not Cataloged (on or near active mines) Attempted (no features found) Visited and cataloged Not cataloged due to access and time constraints Number of symbols Percent 20 5% 21 221
5% 55% 138 35% Used USGS 7.5 minute topographic maps to determine where to catalog. 400 topo symbols in North Yuba, 221 cataloged Attempted to visit PAMP sites first but was unsuccessful. Data Acquisition Historical literature search (commodity, extent of workings, processing methods, etc.) In the field, data collected on location, character and condition of mine sites and features. Location information for each mine feature was collected with a Trimble GPS to an accuracy of 10 meters or less. Screening parameters for on-site water sources: pH, electrical conductivity, oxidation-reduction potential and temperature. Limited grab soil samples were taken when appropriate. Soil Sampling For underground mines: sampled tailings dumps and finegrained waste rock dumps. Dumps with varied physical characteristics were sampled in each discreet unit of the material. For hydraulic mines, sampled fine-grained tailings, sediment down gradient of probable ground sluices and tunnel exits. Also sampled mill areas and impoundments
Methodology: Top 1-2 inches was discarded and only material deeper than 1 inch was bagged in Whirl-Pack bags to be tested. The 18 oz. bags were filled 1/3 to 3/4 full, sealed and placed in a second clean and empty bag and sealed. GPS recorded the exact locations of each sample. Ironsides Mine AS=130 ppm, Hg=47 ppm, Pb=590 ppm Soil Sample Analysis The soil samples were shipped to CLS Labs in Rancho Cordova. Samples were air dried and sieved to a particle size of 1.0 mm. Samples analyzed for arsenic, lead, mercury using EPA methods: EPA 74-71 (cold vapor test) for mercury EPA 60-10 (ICP) for arsenic and lead Arsenic OMR ID 462269 462241 462067 462116 462059 Mine Name Lower Brush Creek Union-Keystone Monarch Ironsides Columbo Result in ppm
670 600 310 130 53 Location Mill area Edge of impoundment Tailings Tailings at collapsed stamp mill Tailings Mine Name Davis Motor Ironsides Pacific Union-Keystone Secret Diggings Result in ppm 1000 590 140 600 80 Location Tunnel exit Tailings at collapsed stamp mill Mill Area Edge of impoundment Edge of impoundment Mine Name Ironsides
Indian Hill California Lucky Hill Union-Keystone Result in ppm 47 5 0.9 0.68 0.63 Location Tailings at collapsed stamp mill Tunnel exit Ground sluice Mine waste Edge of impoundment Lead OMR ID 462234 462116 462237 462241 322011 Mercury OMR ID 462116 462206 462248 462250 462241 Site Summary
Physical Chemical PAR PAR Score Score Total PAR Score Tailings Number of (Cubic Openings Yards) Waste (Cubic Yards) 10,000 100,000 Mine Name Commodity Operation type California Gold Hydraulic, Underground 1,504 3,062
4,566 1 Columbo Davis Motor Gold Gold Processing Plant/Mill Hydraulic, Underground 664 514 6,339 108 7,003 622 2 2 Indian Hill Ironsides Lower Brush Creek Gold Gold Hydraulic, Placer, Processing Plant/Mill Processing Plant/Mill, Underground
2 priority lists developed Matrix for Ranking Sites Based on Chemical PAR Score Moderately High High 1,000-1,999 2,000-2,999 3,000-3,999 >4,000 Very Low Range of Chemical PAR Scores Overall Site Ranking (Inventoried Sites) 0-999 Low 1 2 Moderate 3 4 5 Chemical PAR Score Ranking of Sites OMR Id
Mine Name Commodity 462161 462256 462227 Tennessee Unknown Unknown Lower Brandy City Diggings Brandy City Diggings Comet Gold Gold Gold 462213 462190 462122 Gold Gold Gold Chemical Operation Type PAR Score Ranking Placer, Underground 20,349 5
Underground 12,427 5 Underground 10,652 5 Hydraulic Hydraulic, Underground Underground 10,066 5 10,052 10,051 5 5 Matrix for Scoring Sites by Chemical PAR Scores and Soil Sample Results Arsenic (ppm) Lead (ppm) Mercury (ppm) Chemical Par Score Category Score No Very Low
n/a 1-999 1,000-1,999 0 1 2 2,000-2,999 3,000-3,999 3 4 High >4,000 5 Matrix for Ranking Soil Sampled Sites Range of Summed Scores Overall Site Ranking (Sampled Sites Only) Very Low Low Moderate Moderately
High 1-4 5-8 9-12 13-16 >16 1 2 3 4 5 High Mercury Category Score Lead (ppm) Lead Category Score Arsenic (ppm) Arsenic Category Score
Chemical PAR Score Chemical PAR Category Score Sum of Mercury, Lead, Arsenic, and Chemical PAR Category Scores Overall Sampled Site Ranking 462241 462059 462248 Unknown Keystone Ironsides Indian Hill Sebastopol Oakland Pond UnionKeystone Columbo California Mercury (ppm) 462227 462062 462116 462206 462222 462050 Mine Name
13 13 4 4 4 Further Actions Complete inventory of the watershed, both private and public lands. Full site characterization, including detailed studies into the geology, hydrology and biology. Sampling program to examine downstream effects of high mercury, lead and arsenic concentrations. Comments Sarah Reeves (916) 322-4143 [email protected] www.consrv.ca.gov
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