The largest mine tailings pile at the Ute-Ulay mill site has been estimated at 4,000 cubic yards in volume. Nearly a century ago, the pile was considerably larger. The pile may contain metals and other poisons that are lifting into the air, creating dust, and entering storm-water runoff. Sealing the tailings is the only practical way to reduce leaching and the threat of respiratory illness in visitors. We suggest using a powerful polymer emulsion that will retain the form of the pile. The sealant will bond the surface dust and aggregate together and "cement" it to the base to create a hard, dust-free, water-resistant, and resilient surface. This remediation technique will essentially freeze the tailings pile in time, establishing a memorial-like feature, a tribute to the work that took place at the site.
|A monument to hard work|