Eastern Mojave Vegetation Leviathan Mine, El Dorado County, California.


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Description: Leviathan Mine is an abandoned open-pit sulfur mine high on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, in Alpine County CA. The mine, 24 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe, has been contaminating a nine-mile stretch of mountain creeks. The Toiyabe National Forest surrounds the site, and there are no permanent residents within several miles. The stream system drains into Nevada about five miles from the mine and enters the picturesque Carson Valley nine miles downstream from the mine. Although there had been some mining activities for copper minerals since the 1860s, major environmental problems originated during the open-pit sulfur mining that occurred from 1951 through 1962. During this period, Anaconda used Leviathan Mine as a source of sulfur to dissolve copper from relatively low-grade ore at a mine near Yerington, NV. In 1962 Anaconda ceased operations and sold the property to a local interest. No significant mining activities have taken place since.

By 1997, the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California asked EPA to get involved to fully address the contamination from the mine. Local governments in California and Nevada also voiced their support for intervention. After a number of voluntary measures in 1997 and 1998 proved inadequate, the Leviathan Mine was listed on the NPL in May 2000. (From an EPA Superfund Web Site: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/overview.nsf)

Articles that refer to this location:

  • Leviathan Mine Road, Douglas County, Nevada, and Alpine County, California: Leviathan Mine
  • Field Notes: 31-Jul-04
No collections made at this location.
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Date and time this article was prepared:8:32:02 PM, 5/31/2023.