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A Daily update on the Berkeley Pit

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 4-30-14
 
Dear Editor, 
 
On Earth Day, April 22, 1982, The Atlantic Richfield Corporation now British Petroleum Company 
 
shut off the underground pumps at the Kelley Mine in Butte and started the mines and Berkeley Pit 
 
flooding. These are the current Berkeley Pit and Butte Mine Flooding statistics; 
 
Water in the Berkeley Pit is currently 1053’ deep
 
Water is within 194’ of reaching the top of the Pit at the Montana Resources Concentrator
 
Water is within 93’ of reaching the Critical Water Level in the Pit.
 
Water is within 72’ of reaching the Critical Water Level in the Anselmo Mine
 
Water has risen over seven feet per year since the resumption of mining in 2004.
 
It currently contains over 43 billion gallons of toxic water---Georgetown Lake contains 10.1 billion 
 
gallons
 
The Pit fills at a rate of between three to four million gallons of groundwater per day
 
3 to 4 million gallons of surface water per day is also used in Montana Resource operation and will 
 
eventually flow to the Pit
 
It is the largest contaminated body of water in the U.S.
 
It’s the deepest body of water in Montana
 
It’s the third deepest lake in the world, considering its connected to the Butte Mines
 
The depth of the water in the Kelley Mine is 4279’ deep
 
It is the largest mine flooding that has ever taken place in the world
 
It lies at the headwaters of the Clark Fork and Columbia River Basins
 
In 1995, 342 Canadian snow geese perished in the contaminated acidic mine water.
 
November 30, 2007---17 snow geese, 19 ducks, one swan found dead in Pit
 
The p-h of the water at some levels is less than 2, or worse than battery acid
 
Toxic water will totally dissolve a 40’ long railroad rail in less than two weeks
 
There are approximately 10,000 miles of tunnels underneath Butte. 9,474 reported by the Anaconda Co. 
 
in 1958
 
Yankee Doodle Tailing Pond is over 750’ deep and is possibly the deepest earth filled dam in the world. 
 
The elevation of the dam is now higher than Elk Park.
 
Current Montana Resources Reclamation Bond---$46,747,575
 
Three major slides have occurred in the Berkeley Pit since August 2012. A catastrophic slide in 
 
September 1998 on Southeast Wall of Pit raised water level 3',a slide in February 2013 raised the water 
 
level 1’
 
Major upgrades are necessary to the current Treatment Plant in order to successfully pump and 
 
discharge Berkeley Pit water.
 
Sincerely,
 
Fritz Daily, Butte

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