Spring Summer 2016

Holden Mine Cleanup eNews


June 1, 2016 - KIRO 7

Family rescued from Lake Chelan: 'We were lucky'

A Woodinville family was rescued from Lake Chelan after their boat sank. The Lough family and some friends were on their power boat, headed up Lake Chelan for a camping trip last Friday. The power boat started to take on water when they were near Safety Harbor. The lake was rough and waves were crashing over the boat. Richmond Lough passed out life jackets to the other six passengers. Lough said the boat sank in about two minutes. More...

May 28, 2016 - The Wenatchee World

Rio Tinto Contractor Rescues Seven People, Plus Dog on Lake Chelan

A Woodinville family of three adults and four teenagers was rescued by a Rio Tinto subcontracter Friday afternoon, after spending about half an hour treading water as their boat was sinking miles from shore in Lake Chelan. The family dog, who had been placed in a cooler as the boat took on water, was also rescued by the Pool Engineering boat captained by longtime Chelan resident Steve Byquist, said Chelan County Sheriff's Sgt. Jerry Moore. More...

May 2, 2016 - News Radio 560 KPQ

Holden Mine Cleanup Enters Final Stages

A new water treatment plant will be established to purify water contaminated by toxic mine tailings at the abandoned Holden copper mine at Lake Chelan. The new facility is part of a 500-million dollar superfund cleanup project being done by Rio Tinto. Chelan County Commissioner Doug England says a creek runs right next to the massive piles of mine tailings . . . More...

December 16, 2015

Holden Mine Cleanup Project Receives Environmental Excellence Award

SPOKANE, Wash. – The American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) has awarded its 2015 Environmental Excellence Award to Rio Tinto for cleaning up the historic Holden Mine site in Washington State. AEMA presented the award to Rio Tinto's Legacy Management Group at its recent annual meeting in Spokane, Washington. AEMA recognized Rio Tinto for its state-of-the-art cleanup of the Holden Mine site, as well as its commitment to the environment and local communities: ?Rio Tinto's care to ensure that this remote and logistically challenging legacy site is made safe, that all problem areas are addressed, and that there is a substantial socioeconomic future for the community, together with a minimized aftercare burden, demonstrated the company's commitment to environmental excellence.? The Holden Mine remediation project is a federally mandated cleanup located in a remote spot in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest above Lake Chelan in north-central Washington State. The project sits next to Holden Village, a spiritual retreat center than has operated on the site for more than 50 years. Rio Tinto never owned or operated the Holden Mine but, through a series of acquisitions, agreed to pay for and manage the cleanup. ?Rio Tinto's goal is to complete the remediation of past environmental problems at the old Holden Mine site safely, cost-effectively, and in a way that creates a sustainable socioeconomic future for Holden Village and other nearby communities,? said Holden Mine Cleanup Project Manager Dave Cline. ?With the construction of a water treatment plant at the site and ongoing environmental monitoring, Rio Tinto is committed to the project for the long term. We are honored to receive this award and appreciate AEMA's recognition of our efforts.? AEMA praised the company for working closely with the residents of neighboring Holden Village during the mine cleanup project. The AEMA Environmental Excellence Award is given to a company or operation that exemplifies the organization's Statement of Environmental Principles (

September 21, 2015

Rio Tinto Crews Return to Holden Mine Cleanup Site

September 21, 2015 Lucerne, WA – More than a month after Rio Tinto personnel evacuated the Holden Mine Cleanup site, crews are returning to the area to resume work on the project. On August 1 2015, wildfires near the Holden Mine Cleanup Project in north-central Washington forced the evacuation of 260 Rio Tinto employees from the site. ?Despite the scope and intensity of the wildfires, the site is in good condition,? said Dave Cline, Rio Tinto Holden Mine Cleanup Project Manager. ?We still need to clear and repair parts of the access road, but we are ready to get back to work once that work is finished.? No project equipment has been lost or damaged. Before the evacuation the company moved all heavy equipment to the top of the tailings piles to keep it away from trees in the area. The fire and subsequent evacuation puts the Holden Mine Cleanup project six to eight weeks behind schedule; however, Rio Tinto still plans to complete construction of the water treatment plant building before the weather changes.

August 3, 2015

Wildfires force Rio Tinto to Evacuate Holden Mine Cleanup Project Site

August 3, 2015 Lucerne, WA--- At the direction of the US Forest Service, on July 31 Rio Tinto evacuated 260 Holden Mine Cleanup personnel from the project site, in north-central Washington. Warmer, drier weather conditions have increased the intensity of the Wolverine Wildfire, which is burning near the project site. No equipment has been lost or damaged to date. In preparation for the evacuation, Rio Tinto moved all heavy equipment to the top of the tailings piles to keep it away from trees in the area. The Forest Service ordered the evacuation as the fire continues to grow and threatens area access and evacuation roads. Holden is home to approximately 150 Holden Village residents and 200 mine remediation employees. ?We don't know how long the evacuation order will be in effect,? said Dave Cline, Rio Tinto Holden Mine Cleanup Project Manager. ?The main thing is that our employees are safe. The fire is moving very fast, and the situation is changing daily. Obviously, we are watching very closely.? Lightning ignited the Wolverine fire June 29. It is has spread quickly and now covers more than 4000 acres. For more information:

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