Mine Monitoring‎ > ‎

Background on the Buckhorn Mine

The following links provide background information about the Buckhorn Mine:

Water Quality Summary

OHA's assessment is that Kinross has been in violation of its NPDES permit since shortly after the mine began operating in 2008. After more than five years of gold production at the Buckhorn Mine, the violations of the NPDES and the CWA are well documented in monthly water quality monitoring data. The mine has:
1) Failed to establish and maintain the capture zone
2) Discharged pollutants in excess of water quality limitations
3) Discharged pollutants without permit authority
4) Failed to comply with the Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) for Water Quality

Water Quality Summary

Following the Water

How water is used at the Buckhorn Mine: Much of the gold within Buckhorn Mountain is located below the water table. In order to mine this ore, water must be pumped out of the mountain...Read more


Following the Water

Water Rights & Related Issues

Water Rights have historically been OHA's main vehicle for protecting surface water. Ecology takes the position that since Washington State Water Law requires that water be put to beneficial use in order to get a water right, that if water is is not being put to beneficial use, a water right is not required. This absurd interpretation of water law creates a loophole that allows Kinross to dewater Buckhorn Mountain and dump the water... 

Read more

Water Rights and Related Issues

Adaptive Management Plan

If something happens, someone will do something, sometime....maybe. According to the mine’s Adaptive Management Plan (AMP), the water quality problems at the mine should trigger specific actions. The steps are clearly outlined... 
Read more
Adaptive Management Plan

Settlement Details

The patenting of the land, the building of the mine, the fast-track process, and gold approaching $1,000 per ounce contributed to the impression that more could be gained for Buckhorn Mountain, its water and environment and the community by settling the appeals.

Key Monitoring Provisions:
  • Crown/Kinross will hire an independent third party to do their monitoring and reporting
  • Crown will provide funds for OHA to hire its own independent monitoring company to do annual audits, quarterly visits, random sampling and testing to analyze Crown’s third party work... Read more


Settlement Details (OHA/Crown)


OHA's involvement in Mine Monitoring is organized chronologically. 

View OHA timelines




The Story of OHA...

The Story of OHA

Since 1992, OHA has worked to maintain the integrity of water resources on Buckhorn Mountain, stopping development of an open pit gold mine in 2000 and appealing development of an underground mine proposed in 2002. Both proposals faced strong local opposition... Read more (History of OHA's Mine Monitoring on Buckhorn Mountain)



 Back to Buckhorn Mine Information