Abandoned Mine Lands Report

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Report from June 2000 to the governor and legislature on the "magnitude and scope" of the abandoned mined lands issue in California.

Estimates of the number of abandoned mine sites and abandoned mine features in California have been amended since an estimate of 128,800 mining features on 39,000 historic and inactive abandoned mine sites was first reported in the Department of Conservation’s 2000 publication California’s Abandoned Mines: A Report on the Magnitude and Scope of the Issue in the State.

The Department estimated in the 2000 Report that 48.5% of the abandoned mine sites were located on federal lands, 1.5% on other public lands, and 50% on private lands.  Current estimates are provided below.

  • ​64% of the abandoned mine sites in California are on federal public lands.
  • 4% are on public lands owned or managed by state agencies and local governments
  • 32% are on private lands.
  • 11% of the statewide totals are estimated to present environmental hazards and 84% are estimated to present physical safety hazards.