2018 Hardrock Abandoned Mine Lands

Reclamation Award Program

Contamination Hazards
Physical Safety Hazards

Winner of the 2017 NAAMLP Hardrock Abandoned Mine Reclamation Award for Contamination Hazards Trout Unlimited - Akron Mine and Mill Reclamation, North Pile

Objectives of the award

This award program aims to recognize exemplary projects in two categories:

1. Remediation of Contamination Impacting the Environment or Human Health, and

2. Remediation of Physical Safety Hazards at legacy abandoned hardrock mines in the United States.

Mining and other mineral resource development have occurred in many areas throughout the country. Commodities extracted include precious and base metals such as gold, silver, platinum, lead, copper, and zinc, and industrial minerals such as clays, limestone, and borates. In addition, other commodities included energy-related uranium, and construction-related building stone and aggregate material.(For the purpose of this hardrock abandoned mine reclamation award, all of these commodities are considered.)

Many mines were in operation prior to the adoption of laws at the state and federal levels requiring reclamation. Hundreds of thousands of features from these legacy abandoned mines are found in every type of landscape. Many pose serious safety issues and impact air and water resources, and communities.

Abandoned mines can harm the environment and endanger the lives and health of those living or recreating nearby. Today, thousands of dangerous health, safety, and environmental problems exist as the result of abandoned mine lands. Eliminating these problems through remediation or reclamation requires specialized skills, innovative thinking, and dedication.

Initiated in 2016, NAAMLP recognizes those responsible for the nation’s highest achievements in hardrock abandoned mine land reclamation. The annual Hardrock Abandoned Mine Land Remediation Awards Program publicly recognizes outstanding hardrock abandoned mine land remediation or reclamation and publicizes exemplary reclamation techniques.

What projects are eligible for an award?

Projects to remediate hardrock mines (as defined above) left unreclaimed prior to reclamation requirements of state or federal law, and funded wholly or in part and completed by federal, state, non-profit, or tribal programs, and/or private parties are eligible for an award. Projects nominated in the same year for another award are not eligible.

This includes all types of remediation or reclamation in two categories of risks stemming from abandoned hardrock mines: physical safety hazards or contamination impacting the environment or human health. One project for each of the two categories may be submitted by eligible programs each year.

Organizations Eligible to Submit Nominations

State, Tribal, or Federal agencies, local governments or non-profit organizations with the authority or purpose to address hazards from abandoned mine lands.

Required Information and Format

A. A text-only cover sheet containing:
1. Nomination category (physical or contamination), name and location of the nominated reclamation project;
2. Name, address, phone numbers and email addresses of those submitting the nomination;
3. Project start and completion dates and construction costs;
4. Names of organizations responsible for the reclamation, including contractors; and
5. Date submitted.

B. A narrative description of the work that resulted in exemplary abandoned mine land reclamation.
The narrative should not exceed six single-spaced pages; it should fully describe the eligibility of the project, the abandoned mine problem, including background and reclamation techniques used. The text should also contain photo captions and references to maps, diagrams, or other graphics.

C. Color photographs (including maps, diagrams, or graphics).
The photos should show both the specific activity and the surrounding conditions. They should provide a clear understanding of the reclamation accomplishments.

D. Format.
Each nomination package must be submitted electronically to Packages will be posted on the web in Adobe Acrobat format; they may be submitted as one file in Acrobat (containing text and photos), or as a Word file containing text and separate files containing photographs (or graphics) in .jpg format. All nominations must include the cover photo in .jpg format in a separate file. Files are limited to 25 MB and can be submitted in .zip format.

For judging purposes, nominees should submit photos that:

1. Are 2 Megapixel (MP) in size or larger (6MP+preferred).
2. Show before and after sequences (preference is for historic photos from the origins of the mine and/or the reclamation work to show progress).

If a project is selected for an award, nominees will be asked to submit a brief presentation about the project at the technical session at the 2018 NAAMLP Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia on September 10, 2018.

Judging Standards

Judging standards for the 2018 awards are as follows, and apply to both award categories:

1. Innovative use of current technology (16 pts.)
2. Difficulty of Achieving Reclamation under Existing Conditions (24 pts.)
a. Special and unique considerations (12)
b. On-site difficulty of the project (12)
3. On-Site Effectiveness (25 pts.)
a. Effective/innovative use of technology (7)
b. Landscape conforms to the natural environment (9)
c. Elimination of significant health and safety problem (9)
4. Funding (15 pts.)
a. Effective use of funds (9)
b. Leveraging – use of partners for funding (6)
5. Benefits to the Community (20 pts.)
a. Community support for the project (8)
b. Long-term benefits to the community (12)

Eligible Voters

One ballot for each category accepted from an official designee from each of the following state and tribal AML programs:


Nominations due June 15, 2018

Nominations must be provided directly to Utah AML via email:
In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by a team of NAAMLP officials.
Awards will be presented at the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs Annual Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia on September 10, 2018.