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Magcobar Mines Investigation, Arkansas

Date Posted: January 22, 2003

The Arkansas Fish and Wildlife Office has been working closely with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality regarding the site investigation plan for assessing the nature and extent of contamination at the Magcobar mine pit. Barite was mined at the 600-acre site for about 50 years. Mining operations ceased in 1980. A sulphate of barium, barite is a heavy mineral that is used as a mud in drilling operations. Barite, mixes with water and naturally acidifies the water, making it unsafe to drink or swim in and uninhabitable for fish. The Magcobar mine pit site contains mine spoils and an inactive open pit that has filled, through rainfall and underground seepage, with acidic of water containing quantities of dissolved metals. The pit is holding approximately four billion gallons of acid mine drainage and levees have been constructed to prevent additional impacts to surrounding streams. The site investigation plan will consist of sampling soil, sediment, surface and ground water to determine the extent of environmental impacts as well as contamination in the surrounding drinking wells.

Jim Warren, 501-513-4482

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality:

Last updated: June 12, 2015