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Making Polluters in Missouri Pay
Midwest Region, February 12, 2014
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The Magmont Mine site following the closure of the tailings impoundment and revegetation.
The Magmont Mine site following the closure of the tailings impoundment and revegetation. - Photo Credit: John Weber, USFWS
A 1993 image of the Magmont Mine in its full operational capacity.  Site facilities seen here no longer exist.
A 1993 image of the Magmont Mine in its full operational capacity. Site facilities seen here no longer exist. - Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management

Staff at the Columbia, MO Ecological Services Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and their co-Ttrustees at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service have jointly achieved settlement with the owners of a former metals mining operation in southeast Missouri for injury to natural resources. The Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration have negotiated a settlement agreement for the sum of $1.4 million with Teck American, Inc. and DII Industries, LLC, to resolve the two companies’ liabilities for releases of hazardous substances from the Magmont Mine and Mill site near Bixby, MO.

The Magmont Mine and Mill were opened in 1968 near the town of Bixby by a joint venture between the corporate predecessors of Tech American, Inc., and DII Industries, LLC. The mine and mill produced lead, zinc and copper concentrates using a fully mechanized room and pillar mining technique. Waste products from the milling process were stored in a valley fill tailings impoundment onsite covering more than 300 acres. The impoundments permanently covered portions of Neals Creek, a tributary of the Black River. The mine and mill were closed in 1994 and initial reclamation of the tailings impoundment occurred in the late 1990s.


The trustees have gathered data and completed studies to assess impacts of contaminants on vegetation, riparian and stream sediments, benthic organisms, and avian species in the mining district known as the Viburnum Trend. Overall, the southeast Missouri lead mining district remains the largest lead production area in the United States, and for parts of its history, the leader world-wide. Approximately 100 miles southwest of St. Louis, mining in the Viburnum Trend Mining Sub-District began in the 1950s and is expected to continue into the future for decades to come. The legacy of the heavy-metal mining and smelting in the district is large-scale ecological injury to thousands of acres of terrestrial habitat and dozens of miles of streams.


The Natural Resource Damage and Restoration trustees will use the recovered funds to compensate the public, through environmental restoration, for the loss of natural resources injured at the Magmont site. The trustees are currently finalizing a restoration plan for southeast Missouri which will include the resources and area affected by the Magmont site. The restoration plan should be completed in 2014.


Contact Info: John Weber, 573-234-2132 x177, John_S_Weber@fws.gov



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