Abandoned Mine Management

In the United States and most countries, mining companies are required to follow stringent environmental and rehabilitation codes to minimize environmental impact and avoid impact on human health. The leftover waste from mining operations is so hazardous that mining companies must meet government regulations and address the management of waste prior to opening the mine.

Even with this regulation and oversight, many mines are simply abandoned with owners ignoring their responsibility to address hazardous waste. The federal government has identified about 46,000 abandoned mines on public lands alone, some characterized as Superfund sites.  Most abandoned mines have yet to be identified. By some estimates, there may be one-half million abandoned mines in the United States, each with the potential to contaminate water, pollute soil, kill wildlife, and sicken humans. 

Periodic Products’ Chelok® polymer compounds represent a significant advance in reducing the environmental impact of these abandoned mines and their tailing ponds. With their ease of use, high binding capacity, and rapid binding speed, Chelok polymers offer a practical and effective method of removing hazardous metals, including rare earths, from the environment.