Department recently closed six mine shafts in Jasper County

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-082 For Immediate Release: April 1, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, -- In an effort to ensure the safety of landowners and citizens, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources recently oversaw the closing of six potentially dangerous mine shaft openings from abandoned lead and zinc mining operations near Joplin.  The shafts are located on private property.

The Department's Land Reclamation Program and the Land Reclamation Commission awarded a $48,500 construction contract to Freddy Van's Inc. of Pittsburg, Kan. to complete the project.  The closures entailed excavating down about 20 feet and installing a concrete plug then filled over the plugs with soil material.

Funds for this project came from a surcharge on each ton of coal mined in the United States, as authorized by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.  Funds are collected by the U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining and are disbursed to state and tribal abandoned mine land programs.  The Federal Office of Surface Mining and Missouri's Land Reclamation Commission authorized expense of Missouri abandoned mine land funds for reclamation of dangerous non-coal mine shafts. 

Previous studies and inventories conducted on the lead and zinc areas in southwest Missouri indicate the possible existence of many more mine openings.  The Department encourages citizens to report open shafts by contacting the Department's Land Reclamation Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-4041 or by sending an email to

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