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Toxic Tailings ?


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Color can be an indicator that chemicals have been used in mining operations. Cyanide and arsenic compounds along with mercury are commonly used chemicals used in the extraction of medal from ore. Sodium cyanide is whitish and can be easily overlooked. You should always use precautions when working old mine dumps so you do not fall prey to cross contamination. I wear leather gloves when in old mining areas and wash my tools and hands prior to eating or storing my tools. At the very least it does not hurt to be a little paranoid.

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In old large scale areas where the tailings are huge and either green or yellow are they loaded with toxic chemicals? I always wondered. The tailings in Chloride look yellow and very bad. Up in the Cerbat Mts they are greenish color. Can someone answer this for me?

I assume that you are talking about the mill tailings and not the mine dumps. The mill tailings behind Chlolride, right beside the Tennessee mine, are yellow. There are a number of elements and additives in those tailings, quite a bit of sulphuric acid that is a result of oxidation of sulphides. Most all the mill tailings along the base of the Cerbats is yellow in color. The Emerald Isle and Mineral park copper mines both have large tailing catchments. There was an attempt to cover the face of the Mineral park tailing settlement ponds with top soil and seeding took place. It was almost a total failure. http://www.ascendantcopper.com/Emerald_Overview.php


The tailings from both the Emerald Isle and Mineral Park copper mines, gets airborne everytime it is real windy. People living in the area notice that the dust is corrosive if left standing on metal surfaces.

The tailings around Chloride very seldom get airborne and tests have been done and nothing real bad has been found. Some of the wells in Chloride are a little iffy however I have a 60' hand dug well at the corner of Midnight and Payroll, it has 25' of standing water that is drinkable.

The mine dumps that you see scattered throughout the Cerbat mountains will all vary in color depending on what they may contain. Most of them contain waste rock such as greenstone and granite, those that contain sulphides will usually be yellow in color.

I have dug in and around most all the tailings, dumps, mines, in the Cerbat Range and have never suffered any ill effects other than :banged: :sick0021: :sick0010: :confused0092: :zapped: ......

I just would not breathe a large prolonged dose of dust from any mill tailings.....



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