Rio Tinto and Local Community Join Together on Reclamation Project in Mountains of Washington State

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Minerals Make Life

One of U.S. mining’s core values is being a good neighbor and environmental steward. As KSL News reports, National Mining Association member company Rio Tinto is proving that commitment in Washington state. Working closely with the small town of Holden Village, Rio Tinto is overseeing a $200 million, five-year reclamation project that will repair the mountain and protect the water on a site where another company’s mine once operated. 

“This is really a good example of how mining is not done today. We are cleaning up the dirty laundry of a company that walked away,” said Dave Cline, Rio Tinto's project manager.  “I am proud to say once Rio Tinto got involved we were able to break that stalemate that was occurring for about 15 years.  We have been able to dislodge that process and move forward with the cleanup.”

Holden Village, a religious community that hosts around 5,000 visitors each year, has seen a large drop in traffic since the beginning of this reclamation project. Instead of religious visitors, the village is hosting the “contract employees of Magnus Pacific, MWH engineering, Forest Service supervisors overseeing the work and the Rio Tinto employees orchestrating the entire thing.”

“I don't know how often you have a huge mining company really getting along well and working cooperatively at something that they are, granted, ordered to do. But they are not cutting corners,” said Chuck Carpenter, who with his wife, Stephanie, are executive directors of Holden Village. “We entered into this with some trepidation, both Rio Tinto and Holden Village, when we started this, mixing a construction project with a religious retreat, but the results have been outstanding,” he added.

In the last 35 years, our industry has reclaimed and restored more than 2.6 million acres of land, creating wildlife habitats, parks, fishing holes and more. Projects like Rio Tinto’s Holden Village are a great example of the sector’s commitments to safety, communities and the environment.

Continue reading and learn more about this project here.

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