Approximately 165,000 mine features* on more than 47,000 abandoned mine sites exist statewide.
More than 39,400 abandoned mines (84 percent of 47,000 sites) present physical safety hazards, and approximately 5,200 (11 percent) present environmental hazards.
More than 62,000 abandoned mine features (38 percent of 165,000 features) are hazardous openings.
Federal lands contain approximately 67 percent of the abandoned mines in the State (primarily on Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service property). Approximately 31 percent are on private lands, and about 2 percent are on State or local lands. * A feature is a single human-made object or disturbance associated with mining, such as a shaft or adit (vertical or horizontal opening), tailings, machinery and facilities, etc. A mine can be comprised of one or more features.
For a statewide map showing California abandoned mines, including remediated, inventoried and U.S. Geological Survey mapped mine feature locations, please click here.
We have a toll free number, 877-OLD-MINE, that the public may call to report abandoned mines. While we try to perform field visits to reported sites as soon as possible, resource constraints and other obligations limit the availability of staff.
Additional "Stay Out, Stay Alive" information is available on the website of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Since 1997, the AMLP has conducted field inventories of more than 57,000 mine features on more than 4,200 abandoned mine sites on public and private lands in California. This field inventory program is designed to accurately locate abandoned mines and to provide a preliminary assessment of any health and safety hazards observed.
Since 2002, the AMLP has helped to remediate more than 1,300 hazardous abandoned mine features, in partnership with more than two dozen local, state and federal partners. Most AMLP projects involve the remediation of physical hazards. Techniques to remediate hazardous mine openings and associated debris include: wire fencing; backfills; polyurethane foam (PUF) closures; bat-compatible gates, cupolas, and culvert gates; other closures, including blasting shut, fitting with concrete plugs or steel caps, etc.; demolition of unstable structures; and removal of hazardous debris and trash. All work is conducted in accordance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental reviews, which are performed by the land-owning agencies.
To see some examples of AML Remediations, please click here.
For a list of remediation partners, click here.
The Department of Conservation convenes the California Abandoned Mine Lands Forum to provide a venue for discussion and coordination on water quality, safety and environmental hazard issues that agencies and other groups face with their abandoned mine land remediation projects in California. For schedules, agendas, minutes, and charter, click here.