Holden Mine Cleanup Project
    Summer 2014 
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Welcome to the summer edition of the Rio Tinto Holden Mine Cleanup Project eNewsletter.

Construction Update

It's been two years since we started working to remediate past environmental problems at the old Holden Mine site. This year is our biggest and busiest year yet. 



This spring we barged two of the biggest pieces of excavation equipment in North America up Lake Chelan to help us with our biggest project: the installation of a massive below ground barrier wall to collect contaminated water from the old tailings.  We're digging down nearly 70 feet to construct a wall made of clay and cement. Once completed, the wall will act as a dam for contaminated groundwater that comes into Railroad Creek.  We'll capture that water in a collection system and route it to a water treatment facility. The cleaned water will then go back to the creek.





When the mine was constructed more than seven decades ago, the tailings were piled at a very steep angle along Railroad Creek. This year we're continuing to reshape and cover the eight million tons of tailings that sit in three piles on 90 acres of the site. We're also reshaping and covering the waste rock piles with soil to restore vegetation.

We've also constructed a fresh water diversion for surface water around the site while we move and rebuild a section of Copper Creek, which bisects two tailings piles. Rebuilding the creek bed will reduce the potential for erosion of the tailings pile and will be complete at the end of this construction season.  

A busy season for visitors



A number of visitors saw firsthand how Rio Tinto's Holden Mine Cleanup Program is remaking the former mine site in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.  Rio Tinto and Holden Village welcomed a group of journalists to the site in mid- July.  During the day-long tour, Project Manager Dave Cline, Site Project Manager Tom Zimmer and Construction Manager Preston Rufe joined our general contractor Magnus Pacific and the US Forest Service to explain why and how Rio Tinto is doing the cleanup.  Journalists joined Holden Village volunteers for lunch and a tour of the village. Click here to see some recent news coverage of the cleanup project.


A US Forest Service delegation from Washington DC and representatives from a handful of citizen groups also toured the site in July.


Community Partnering
The Rio Tinto Holden Mine Cleanup Project joined other local businesses and community members in supporting the new Chelan Library, which opened earlier this year. Our $25,000 contribution to the children's area will support the education of future generations in the Chelan area.

What's new

Check out our new video to learn more about the past, present and future of the Holden Mine Cleanup Project. Click on our "Links" tab for more information about Rio Tinto and our expertise in and commitment to managing legacy sites.

For more information, visit:

Or call, 509-570-3430 or 801-831-5991 


For questions about potential employment with the project, please contact Robin Jeremiah with Magnus Pacific at [email protected]

ABOUT RIO TINTO                                                      

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminum, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.


The Holden Mine Project is part of Rio Tinto's Legacy Management group. The Legacy Management group works to ensure that old historic sites inherited through the acquisition of other entities are made safe, that all problem areas are addressed cost-effectively, and that there is a sustainable socioeconomic future for the community and a minimal burden of aftercare for the historic sites. Click here for more information.