GovDelivery logo

Metallic Minerals Permitting

In January 1992, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued 10 permits to operators under the Metallic Minerals Waste Management Act, or MMWMA.  At the present time, the Land Reclamation Program, or LRP, continues the five year review of the metallic minerals waste management permits. 

A reclaimed tailings impoundment - Magmont Mine.
A reclaimed tailings impoundment, Magmont

Metallic Mineral Waste Management permit applications consist of financial assurance information and detailed waste management area closure and inspection-maintenance plans. The plans establish and explain the technical steps proposed to accomplish and maintain closure after mining and waste disposal is completed. Issues addressed in the plans include:

  • The design and construction of waste control structures and tailings dams.
  • The characterization of waste products
  • the methods for control and protection of surface water.
  • The methods for protection of groundwater and aquifers.
  • The geology and seismicity of the area.
  • The reclamation of the waste disposal areas.
  • Designated land uses.

The following table is a summary of the current permits issued for the management and ultimate reclamation of metallic mineral waste.  All are for the management of lead waste tailings except for Permit #MM-007, which is issued for the management of iron ore waste tailings.

Industrial and Metallic Mineral Mine Sites

The Doe Run Company/Herculaneum Smelter/MM-001 Jefferson/62 acres Mark Yingling
The Doe Run company/Glover Smelter/MM-003T Iron/155 acres Mark Yingling
The Doe Run Company/Sweetwater Mine/MM-004T Reynolds/850 acres Mark Yingling
The Doe Run Company/West Fork Mine/MM-005T Reynolds/264 acres Mark Yingling
Teck American Incorporated/MM-006 Iron/53 acres David Enos
PRR Mining Inc./MM-007T Washington/136 acres Craig A. Smith
The Doe Run Company/Viburnum Mine/MM-008 Washington, Iron and Crawford/1008 acres Mark Yingling
The Doe Run Company/Fletcher Mine/MM-009 Reynolds/435 acres Mark Yingling
The Doe Run Company/Brushy Creek Mine/MM-0010 Reynolds/242 acres Mark Yingling
The Doe Run Company/Buick Mine/MM-0011 Reynolds and Iron/1015 acres Mark Yingling

Metallic Minerals Inspection

Inspections are performed semiannually on the 10 metallic minerals waste management permit areas within Missouri. During the course of these inspections, all aspects of each company’s permits are evaluated.  The main focus of these inspections is to assess the company's compliance with virtually every environmental law that is administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.  The program is entrusted as the coordinating agency within the department for each active metallic mineral producer currently operating in Missouri.  It is the program's responsibility to act as the liaison for the other programs within the department and each metal producer to ensure continuing compliance with all applicable state environmental laws.

Actual on-the-ground reclamation does not begin at these sites until mineral production is stopped, and mine closure begins.  Only one lead producer in Missouri is in closure at the present time.  Cominco American's Magmont Mine ceased production in 1995 and began the actual reclamation of the surface effects of almost 30 years of lead mining, processing, and waste disposal.

During the on-going permit application review, the program is coordinating with the other Department of Natural Resources programs and divisions involved with the metallic minerals waste management areas.  These include the Division of Environmental Quality’s Air Pollution Control Program, Water Pollution Control Branch, Solid Waste Management Program, Public Drinking Water Branch, Hazardous Waste Program and the Missouri Geological Survey. The coordination process will allow the other programs to review and comment on the technical aspects of the plans so that all environmental issues may be incorporated into the permit.

Metallic Minerals Enforcement

Enforcement under this law is significantly different from enforcement under either the coal or industrial minerals units of the program.  If it should become necessary to issue a citation to any of the metal producers, the authority to do so rests solely with the director of the Department of Natural Resources.  Enforcement is only authorized by law after attempts to eliminate the violation through conference, conciliation and persuasion have been exercised and exhausted.